After a 2-0 victory over Utah Valley in the first round of the NCAA tournament, SMU traveled to Colorado to take on No. 13 Denver.
In a game which SMU was relatively outplayed, the Mustangs were able to survive and win in overtime during the 94th minute when junior Stanton Garcia found the back of the net off a beautiful assist by Mauro Cichero.
VIDEO: Stanton Garcia’s game-winning goal off a Bryce Clark throw-in in OT! #PonyUp
Posted by SMU Men’s Soccer on Sunday, November 22, 2015
The Mustangs will travel to Ohio to take on No. 4 seeded Akron, Sunday, Nov. 29 at 4 p.m. ET/ 3 p.m. CT at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field in Akron, Ohio.
Akron (16-3-2) is ranked 5th in the NSCAA DI Coaches Poll and SMU is ranked 11th.
SMU dominated the AAC’s conference awards with three Mustangs receiving conference players of the year honors, and seven Mustangs being added to first, second, and rookie All-Conference teams.
Sophomore Mauro Cichero was named Offensive Player of the Year, senior John Lujano earned Midfielder of the Year, and sophomore Michael Nelson earned Goalkeeper of the Year.
The Mustangs went 13-2-3 and 7-0-1 in American play, but would lose to Tulsa in the conference tournament semifinals. The Mustangs are ranked second nationally in total assists (42) and assists per game (2.33), and in the Top 25 nationally in total points (110) and goals (34).
Although he has been on the Hilltop for eight years, Kevin Hudson is in his first year as head coach after being named to the position in January 2015.
In the last eight years, the Mustangs have made the NCAA tournament four times and advanced to the Elite Eight in 2010. Prior to taking the head coaching job at SMU, Hudson was an assistant coach for the Mustangs, and a was a standout on the field for SMU from 2000-2003. He was the 44th pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft (DC United).
SMU has not made the NCAA tournament since 2011.
If SMU can survive Akron, they will most likely move on to face the North Carolina Tar Heels.