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

Shahzoda Hatamova

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: 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: Mustangs take C-USA Player, Freshman of the Year honors

SMU tennis players Marta Lesniak and Aleksandra MalyarchikovaSophomore Marta Lesniak was named 2010 Conference USA Women’s Tennis Player of the Year, and Shahzoda Hatamova was selected C-USA Freshman of the Year, the league announced May 6. Lesniak (28-5) is the highest ITA-ranked singles player in Conference USA at No. 28. The four-time C-USA Player of the Week and October 2009 Player of the Month also received the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Singles Championship beginning May 26 in Athens, Georgia. Hatamova is 27-8 on the season with 19-4 dual match mark and went 7-1 against C-USA competition.

The No. 31 SMU women’s tennis team led C-USA with five All-Conference honorees. Lesniak and fellow sophomore Aleksandra Malyarchikova (left to right in photo right) each made the first team for the second straight season. First-year players Hatamova and Edyta Cieplucha each made the second team. Senior Pavi Francis was selected to the third team. The team (23-4) plays Pepperdine (12-1) in the first round of the NCAA Team Championship May 14 in Stanford, California, at 1 p.m. CT. Read more.

SMU men's tennis player Artem BaradachJunior Kelly Kraft has been named the 2010 C-USA Golfer of the Year, as chosen by the league’s 11 head coaches, as announced by the conference office May 4. Kraft was ranked as high as No. 41 in the nation this season by Golfweek magazine when he entered the 2010 C-USA Championship, where he finished 9th overall. He was also named a first-team All-C-USA performer. The men’s golf team awaits word on a 2010 NCAA Tournament berth, scheduled to be announced May 10. Read more.

Junior men’s tennis player Artem Baradach (left) received a selection to the 2010 NCAA Singles Championships, as announced by the NCAA May 5. Currently ranked No. 59 in the ITA, Baradach tallied a 16-7 record this season at the No. 1 slot and earned a 4-3 spot against nationally-ranked opponents. Of his 16 wins, 12 were won in straight sets. Read more.

May 10, 2010|Sports|
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