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Women's soccer kicks off 2018 Thursday by hosting DePaul

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Women's soccer kicks off 2018 Thursday by hosting DePaul

Postby PonyPride » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:15 pm

From SMUMustangs.com:

SMU (0-0-0, 0-0-0 American) vs DePaul (0-0-0, 0-0-0 Big East)
Westcott – Dallas, Texas
Aug. 16, 2018 – 7 p.m. CT

If you can't make it to the game, you can WATCH IT HERE.

SMU Women's Soccer kicks off its season with a 7 p.m. showdown against the DePaul Blue Demons at Westcott Field on Thursday, Aug. 16.

Entering his seventh season at the helm of the program, Head Coach Chris Petrucelli returns nine of 11 starters from a squad last season that advanced to the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament and finished with a 10-7-3 record. The two-time National Coach of the Year has 393 wins to his name and is one of just five active coaches to lead his team to three national title games.

Notably, 22 of the 26 SMU goals scored in 2017 were credited to returnees. Additionally, the Mustangs bring back 83% of total minutes played from last season's team.

Junior forward Allie Thornton leads all returnees with 11 points in the 2017 campaign. The striker also netted four goals and chipped in with three assists. The Ponies return keeper Catie Brown, who started in goal for every game of last season recording 67 saves and eight shutout victories. Other notable returners include Vanesa Valadez, who began her career with the Mustangs in 2014 and has recorded 23 goals in her time on the Hilltop. Blair Thorpe has played more games than any returner with 60 caps in her career and fellow senior Hailey Thompson has a team-high 16 career assists.

The Mustang defense ended last season on a high note only conceding one goal in the final 542:26 of the season. In addition, the team has an active streak of over four hours (276:50) since they were last scored on at Westcott Field.

The Blue Demons make the journey to Westcott Field coming off a 7-7-5 season that saw them finish sixth in the Big East. DePaul is coached by Erin Chastain, entering her 12th season as the head of the program. Forward Franny Cerny returns for DePaul fresh off an All-Conference season where she netted 10 goals and tallied two assists.


Thursday marks the first meeting between the two programs.


The Mustangs have won their last two season openers including a 1-0 victory over No. 17 Arkansas in last season’s first contest. Claire Oates found the back of the net on a header in the 7th minute of overtime to clinch the upset victory over the Razorbacks.

In 2016, SMU had a field day with an 8-0 victory over Northwestern State.

UP NEXT: The Mustangs travel to the Golden State for a matchup with Long Beach State. The 49ers are coming off a 9-6-3 season in which they finished 73rd in the RPI. After the quick one game excursion, the team returns to Texas for two intrastate trips to Rice and TCU.

COACHING CORNER: Two-time National Coach of the Year and 1995 NCAA Championship Coach Chris Petrucelli is entering his seventh season at the helm of the SMU Women's Soccer program. A veteran of 20-plus years as a head coach, Petrucelli was named the NSCAA National Coach of the Year in both 1994 and 1995 and was lauded as the NSCAA Central Region Coach of the Year in both 2002 and 2006. Beginning his 29th season as a head coach, Petrucelli has compiled a 393-165-49 (.689) record. In his seventh season at SMU, Petrucelli has a 53-55-13 (.492) record.

Petrucelli is one of nine active coaches to win a National Championship and is one of just five active coaches to lead his team to the National Title game on three occasion

ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL: Chris Petrucelli's side finished the season on an impressive defensive run. Before conceding a goal in the season finale, the team hadn't been on the wrong end of a goal in 485:31 minutes of action. Notably, at home the Mustangs have gone 276 minutes since last allowing a goal, a streak that goes back to the 2017 contest with No. 10 UCF.

PUT IT ON THE BOARD: During the 2017 season, SMU women's soccer team was 9-2-0 when scoring first. Over the last two seasons, the Mustangs won 18 of 20 in which they score first.

YOUNG AND DANGEROUS: In 2017, SMU freshmen accounted for eight of SMU's 25 goals (32 percent), all with at least two strikes. Hannah Allred led the freshmen and finished second on the team with four goals. Both Isabelle Nashmi and Katia Novi burried a pair of goals.

KEEP YOUR HEAD ABOUT YA: SMU had seven header goals last season, three by senior midfielder Claire Oates, two by defender Katharine Herron and one by Isabelle Nashmi and Vanessa Valadez.

THOR(NTON)'S HAMMER: Junior Allie Thornton led SMU with 61 shots (2nd AAC) and 22 shots on goal. The striker had four goals on the year, recording three during the regular season, one against Temple, Tulsa and Sam Houston State. The sophomore netted her fourth against Cincinnati in the American Athletic Conference Tournament quarterfinals. Against New Mexico State, Thornton registered a season-high nine shots. Against No. 16 Oklahoma, she registered eight shots, equaling Oklahoma's team shots total, with three on frame. In 2016, she finished the season tied with a team-high 10 goals and was second on the team with 23 points. Thornton was the first player since Olivia O'Rear (13) in 2006 to score at least 10 goals in a single-season, and the first since Kimber Bailey (2004, 11) to score 10 or more goals in her freshman year. The 10 goals ranks tied for eight on the SMU All-time goals by a freshman list.

MILESTONE 400!: Redshirt senior Vanessa Valadez netted the eventual game-winner in the 27th minute against TCU to propel SMU to a 1-0 win for the 400th program victory. Since the beginning of the program in 1986, the program record is 406-210-48 (.648). The Mustangs have been coached by six different coaches over that span.

Claire Oates – First Team All-Conference (Oct. 31)
Allie Thornton – Second Team All-Conference (Oct. 31)
Hannah Allred – All-Rookie Team (Oct. 31), Weekly Honor Roll (Oct. 30)
Isabelle Nashmi – All-Rookie Team (Oct. 31), Weekly Honor Roll (Aug. 28)
Catie Brown – Goalkeeper of the Week (Aug. 28), Weekly Honor Roll (Oct. 23)
Vanessa Valadez – Weekly Honor Roll (Sept. 5)
Katia Novi – Weekly Honor Roll (Oct. 23)
Haley Thompson – Weekly Honor Roll (Oct. 30)

2018 AAC PRESEASON HONORS: The American Athletic Conference announced their preseason rankings and preseason all-conference teams on Monday August 13th. The Coaches selected SMU to finish fifth in the conference, just one point back of fourth place Cincinnati. Junior Allie Thornton was an all-conference selection at striker. Thornton led the Ponies in scoring last season with 11 points scoring four goals and tallying three assists.

WESTCOTT FIELD: With the win against No. 21 Cincinnati on Oct. 22 of last season, SMU clinched a winning season at Westcott Field for the third consecutive season. Since opening in 1994, SMU holds a .712 winning percentage (161-59-20) at Westcott Field. In 23 seasons at Westcott, the Mustangs have finished .500 or better in 22 seasons, with three perfect seasons. They come into the home opener riding a three-game home winning streak.

FREE SOCCER!: Adding to its menu of free, family-friendly events, SMU Athletics continues to offer free admission to all Mustang soccer matches for the second consecutive season. The soccer programs are among 11 SMU sports that offer free admission. Others include volleyball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's golf, rowing and equestrian.
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