While most Hilltoppers have their sights on the big SMU-TCU game this weekend, the SMU soccer team has finally snapped out of its post-Schellas Hyndman funk and is doing some real work. Some may have been skeptical of SMU's unbeaten record before last weekend as they had not beaten any top teams but, SMU put those thoughts to rest going up to Peoria, Illinois and winning the Bradley tournament last weekend. Their most impressive win coming in 3-2 come from behind victory over #16 Creighton with a goal from Juan Castillo and two penalty kicks from Arthur Ivo.
"It was a tale of two halves," said head coach Tim McClements. "At halftime, we regrouped and refocused. We were able to play our game, match their intensity. The guys showed a tremendous amount of character and a lot of fight. I'm really proud of performance."
Castillo, a freshman from Kingwood, Texas who played his club ball for Dallas Texans Houston/TSC Texans, followed that effort up with his 6th goal of the season against Bradley on Sunday afternoon in a 3-1 SMU victory. Tyler Dershang locked up the victory with two goals in the last ten minutes of the game to bring home the Bradley Tournament trophy. Castillo, Dershang, Josue Soto and Kekoa Osorio were named to the all-tournament team.
"He's been unbelievable," McClements said of Castillo. "He's been exactly what we've needed. He's a good finisher, works hard on defense and is a great addition to the team."
SMU's work hasn't gone unnoticed as today they shot into the top 10 of the NSCAA National Rankings ahead of traditional powers like UCLA and Duke. Akron leads the way as the unanimous #1 overall with Tulsa University at #2.