Sports: SMU in control of bowl destiny (so far)

Heather Steinbauer

Sports: SMU in control of bowl destiny (so far)

Kyle PadronThree-and-oh: Sophomore QB Kyle Padron (right) threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns as the Mustangs delivered a 21-18 win over Conference USA rival Tulsa on Oct. 9. The Mustangs improved their conference record to a division-leading 3-0 in front of a surprisingly large Fall Break crowd of 19,329. After the Golden Hurricane got on the board first with a run by junior QB G. J. Kinne, sophomore Padron threw for three consecutive touchdowns to Darius Johnson, Cole Beasley and Bradley Haynes – one each in the first three periods. A field goal and a second rushing TD by Kinne in the 4th quarter wasn’t enough to bring Tulsa back. SMU faces Navy at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, in Annapolis. The Midshipmen are 3-2 on the season and currently rank 10th in rushing yards.

Lesniak’s reign over: No. 22-ranked junior Marta Lesniak ended her run at the Riviera ITA All-American Tennis Championships with a school-record quarterfinals finish Wednesday, Oct. 11. Lesniak raced through the qualifying rounds and defeated four ranked opponents on her way to a hard-fought loss to No. 7 Denise Dy of Washington in three sets (2-6,7-5, 7-6). The Mustang doubles teams didn’t fare half as well, as both the prequalifying team of sophomores Edyta Cieplucha and Shahzoda Hatamova and the No. 47 qualifying team of Lesniak and junior Heather Steinbauer were defeated by the same unranked team of Sanaa Bhambri and Sandhya Nagaraj from NC State. The tennis squad has some time to recover and regroup – their next event, the National Indoor Championship in Flushing, New York, isn’t until Nov. 4.

Zach BarnesTrophy hoarders: The men’s soccer team (11-1-0, C-USA 3-1-0) added another weekly award to its stellar season as freshman midfielder Zach Barnes (right) got the nod as this week’s C-USA Offensive Player of the Week. Barnes was responsible for a last-minute breakaway goal in SMU’s 3-1 win over No. 20 South Carolina on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Barnes also posted the deciding goal in a 2-1 overtime victory against Marshall on Sunday, Oct. 10 – a game where SMU played a man short due to an 80th-minute red card. The Mustangs, moving up to the No. 7 spot in this week’s NSCAA/HendricksCar.com rankings, host No. 14 Tulsa on Wednesday, Oct. 20. Tulsa is 7-3-0 on the season and is 1-1 in C-USA play.

Trophy hoarders, continued: Junior Kaitlyn Eidson of the women’s soccer team (9-4-2, C-USA 4-2-0) joined Barnes in earning a C-USA Offensive Player of the Week award. Eidson netted three of the four goals posted by SMU in wins over UTEP and Colorado College over the weekend. The Mustang’s 1-0 shutout win over UTEP on Friday, Oct. 8 featured Eidson’s ninth-minute goal as the only score of the match. On Sunday, Oct. 10, Eidson added two more goals in a 3-1 win over Colorado College, one within the first two minutes of the game and one in the 72nd minute. Eidson is in the middle of a three-game goal streak (4 goals) and has scored the game winner in each of the past three contests for SMU. Next up is conference rival UAB at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15 at Westcott Field. Purchase your tickets online at smumustangs.com or call 214-SMU-GAME.

October 14, 2010|Sports|

Sports: Lesniak wins second Tennis Athlete of the Month award

Josue SotoPadron rolls: After a stellar performance in last Saturday’s 42-31 dismantling of Rice, sophomore QB Kyle Padron (24-for-32 comp, 371 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT) became this week’s unanimous selection for the C-USA Offensive Player of the Week. Padron’s achievement earned a national spotlight as he was named one of the Manning Award’s five national Stars of the Week for his performance against the Owls. Padron and the Mustangs look to defeat C-USA rival (and current competitor for the Western Division) Tulsa at 7 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 9. Students and staff, as always, receive free passes to the game at Gerald J. Ford Stadium.

Streak broken: It’s possible that the support and praise of certain unspecified blogs eventually led to a jinx for the men’s soccer team, as the Mustangs suffered their first loss of the season to C-USA rival UCF on Oct. 2. The Knights scored early in the 12th minute to break out on the scoreboard, eventually heading off the Mustangs in a 2-1 win. Senior Josue Soto (right) tallied his third goal of the season in the 27th minute to temporarily tie the game. The Mustangs have fallen to No. 8 in the NSCAA/HendricksCar.com national rankings and are now 9-1-0 on the season (1-1-0 in C-USA play.) The Mustangs next host South Carolina at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6. SMU is 5-5-2 all-time against the No. 20-ranked Gamecocks.

Courtney ManningLesniak rising: Junior Marta Lesniak continues to add to her awards cabinet as she was named September’s C-USA Tennis Athlete of the Month Oct. 5. Lesniak, currently ranked No. 22 in the country, was commended for her 4-0 sweep of the Singles A tournament at the OU Fall Invitational earlier this month. Lesniak and doubles partner Heather Steinbauer also formed the No. 47 pair in the Doubles A bracket and went undefeated, winning 24 of 37 total games. This is Lesniak’s second Athlete of the Month award, with the first given in October 2009. Currently, she is competing at the Riviera Women’s All-American Championships in Pacific Palisades, California, which has been on rain delay intermittently over the past week.

SMU vs. Tulsa, precursor: The volleyball team is yet again acting as a foil for the SMU football team by facing the same opponent in one week. And, just like the Mustang football team, SMU (12-3, 4-0 C-USA) and Tulsa (13-2, 4-0 C-USA) will be duking it out for the top spot in the conference. The volleyball game begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6 in Moody Coliseum. SMU’s defense to this point has been exceptional, with a C-USA lead in opponent’s hitting percentage (.167), blocks per set (2.55) and digs per set (17.81). (Left, sophomore middle blocker Courtney Manning.) The rivalry match is this year’s “Pack the House” event with all SMU faculty, staff and students receiving free admission.

October 6, 2010|Sports|

Sports: SMU to play Rice after close loss

Marta LesniakNo skillet this year: Taking advantage of a No. 4-ranked team’s mistakes wasn’t enough to help SMU overcome TCU in this year’s 41-24 Iron Skillet loss. Despite only completing 14 of 26 passing attempts and throwing two interceptions, TCU quarterback Andy Dalton was able to find ways to break through SMU’s defenses in the waning minutes of the second half, when SMU held a brief 17-14 lead. SMU sophomore QB Kyle Padron fared worse statistically (14-for-35, 1 INT) but threw for 2 touchdowns. Sophomore RB Zach Line continues to make an impression on the team as he scored a 29-yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter. SMU travels to Rice on Oct. 2 with a solid chance to add another win against the 1-3 Owls at 7 p.m.

Lesniak shines: No. 22-ranked junior Marta Lesniak (right) scored another hit for women’s tennis as she won the Singles A competition in last weekend’s Sooner Fall Tennis Invitational. The Polish native’s career singles record is now at 43-8 and she will be looking to capitalize on that at the 2010 Riviera/ITA All-American tournament, which begins Saturday, Oct. 2 and will continue through Oct. 10. Lesniak is already in the ‘Qualifying Singles’ bracket and the ‘Qualifying Doubles’ bracket with teammate junior Heather Steinbauer. Junior Aleksandra Malyarchikova and sophomore Edyta Cieplucha are in the ‘Prequalifying Singles’ bracket, who will begin play first to determine qualifying seeding, and sophomore Shahzoda Hatamova is an alternate for the tournament. This will be the first time in school history that five players from SMU will be participating in the Riviera tournament.

Pete FlepsThe reign continues: The men’s soccer team shows no signs of stopping their winning streak as last week’s 3-2 and 2-1 victories against UAB and Jacksonville, respectively, put the Mustangs at a 9-0-0 record for the year. They are now ranked 5th in the NSCAA/HendrickCars.com National Rankings, despite having three victories more than any of the four teams placed above them. The Mustangs get something of a breather this weekend as they have only conference rival, UCF, to face at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2. They will also host South Carolina at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6.

Awarding our role models: Senior linebacker Pete Fleps (right) was named a semifinalist for the 2010 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth. The National Football Foundation announced on Thursday, Sept. 30, that Fleps was being considered for the award due to his leadership on the field and his stellar academic achievements. (Fleps has made the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll since 2006 and was named honorable mention All-C-USA by the league’s coaches in 2009.) Fleps, who leads the team with 34 tackles through four games, will find out if he makes the 15-finalist cut on Oct. 28 in a nationally televised press conference. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2010 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. The Campbell Trophy winner, who will have his scholarship increased to $25,000 and receive a 25-pound bronze trophy, will be announced live at the NFF’s annual awards dinner on Dec. 7 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

October 1, 2010|Sports|

Sports: SMU dominates UAB, Washington State up next

SMU defenders Taylor Reed (44) and Ryan Smith (20) combine to stop UAB wide receiver Patrick Hearn in the Mustangs' win on Saturday in Dallas.

Easy win, easy go: The 2010 SMU BCS bid campaign finally got rolling Sept. 11 as the Mustangs made a quick and easy time of defeating UAB, 28-7. (Right, defenders Taylor Reed (44) and Ryan Smith (20) take down UAB wide receiver Patrick Hearn, AP Photo / The Dallas Morning News, Louis DeLuca) After a small hiccup in the first quarter when UAB scored a touchdown to post their (only) lead of 7-0, SMU quickly got its offense in gear with two touchdowns scored by sophomore RB Zach Line, followed by two touchdown passes by sophomore QB Kyle Padron. The Mustangs are now tied for first in the C-USA West Division with Houston at one conference win for each team. SMU’s Sept. 18 game against Washington State will continue their three-game homestand in Dallas.

Mustangs moving up: The men’s soccer team continues its hot streak heading into this weekend’s series of games in Peoria, Illinois. The Mustangs, who swept the Hurricane Classic last weekend in Tulsa (2-0-0 against SIU-Edwardsville and Western Illinois) are now 5-0-0 on the season and have been ranked 18th nationwide in this week’s NSCAA/HendrickCars.com National Rankings. Freshman forward Juan Castillo was also named the C-USA Player Of The Week. The Mustangs will compete at the Bradley Tournament in Peoria Sept. 17 and 19, where they will battle Creighton and Bradley, respectively.

%20MaryAlenbratt150.jpgCross Country awards love: SMU runner Mary Alenbratt (right) was named C-USA Cross Country Athlete of the Week on Sept. 13, 2010, after posting a two-mile run time of 11:07.74 at the UT-Arlington Season Opener cross country event. Alenbratt, a sophomore from Bohus, Sweden, was one of four runners from SMU who placed in the top nine finishers in the race. The Mustangs will next compete at the Notre Dame Invitational on Oct. 1.

Women’s soccer comeback: The women’s soccer team made a comeback effort to defeat New Mexico 1-0 Sept. 12, upping their season record to 4-2-1. Junior Logan May scored in the 78th minute, and goalkeeper Courtney Webb picked up her fourth shutout of the season and now has a 0.69 GAA on the season. The Mustangs travel north to Denton next for a match against UNT at 7 p.m. Sept. 17. The “Mean Green” Eagles are 5-2-1 for the season, with their most recent matches being two consecutive 1-0 losses at Sam Houston and Texas Tech.

Tennis season coming up: The women’s tennis team has four players who have placed in the Fall ITA Preseason Rankings – a first in school history. Junior Marta Lesniak holds the highest placing for a Mustang since 1993 at No. 22, with a career singles record of 43-8. Fellow junior Aleksandra Malyarchikova is ranked No. 95 with a 39-6 record. Sophomore Edyta Cieplucha is ranked No. 109 after a rookie record of 18-2, and junior transfer from Vanderbilt Heather Steinbauer is No. 117 with a 33-17 career record. All four will play in the The Riviera/ITA All-American Championship, beginning on Oct. 2 at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, California.

September 16, 2010|Sports|
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