DALLAS (SMU) – After winning the Conference USA regular season title, the No. 20 SMU men’s soccer team dominated the C-USA post-season awards. Head coach Tim McClements was named Coach of the Year, and junior goalkeeper Jaime Ibarra led eight Mustangs earning all-conference honors as he was named Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.
McClements, currently in his fifth season at the helm of the Mustangs, led SMU to a 10-4-3 mark (6-2 in C-USA games) and the Mustangs’ second regular season title in three years. SMU has been ranked as high as No. 14 in the NSCAA poll this season and put together a nine-match unbeaten streak that lasted more than a month. The Coach of the Year honor is McClements’ second at SMU, having earned the award in 2010, and fourth of his career. In 2005, he was named Missouri Valley Coach of the Year while at Vanderbilt. He was also named the Heart of America Coach of the Year in 1995 while at Baker.
Ibarra, who was also selected First Team All-C-USA, led the league in goals against average (0.75), save percentage (0.880), and tied for the lead in shutouts (4) and saves (44) during C-USA play. He recorded six shutouts on the season, posting a three-match shutout streak Sept. 29-Oct. 6 (at No. 23 UAB, vs. No. 20 Tulsa, vs. Kentucky) and also blanked the opposition in back-to-back games Sept. 14-16 (vs. Oakland, vs. UC Davis). Ibarra even saved a penalty kick on Sept. 14 against Oakland and again on Sept. 20 versus CSU Bakersfield. He has seven games this year with six or more saves and has recorded 88 total stops this season, which ranks him 15th nationally. He averages 5.18 saves per game (21st NCAA) and holds an 84.6% save percentage (12th NCAA). Ibarra received numerous awards during the season and was even selected the NSCAA National Player of the Week Sept. 24-30.
Senior T.J. Nelson and sophomores Tyler Engel, Damian Rosales and Aaron Simmons were
named to the All-Conference USA Second Team.
Engel has started all 17 games for the Mustangs and leads the team in points (23 – 45th NCAA), goals (8), assists (7 – 38th NCAA) and game-winning goals (5). Engel was instrumental in helping SMU win the conference title, scoring a league-high three game-winning goals in conference action. The forward was second in points (14), tied for second in assists (4) and was third in goals (5) in league play. He was a two-time Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week this season and was named to several national teams of the week.
Nelson, Rosales and Simmons were a part of the Mustang defense that led the league in goals allowed (6), goals-against average (0.75 per game), saves made (47, including three team saves) and shutouts (4). Nelson played in 16 games for SMU and has been a team captain each of the past two seasons. The midfielder was selected to the Hurricane Classic and SMU Classic All-Tournament teams. Rosales saw time in all 17 games this season, logging 1,500 of a possible 1,610 minutes this season. The defender also contributed offensively, assisting on goals against No. 20 Tulsa and Missouri State. Rosales earned several national team of the week honors and was named to the SMU Classic All-Tournament team. Simmons has played every minute (1,610) for the Mustangs, leading a young defensive unit. The center back netted the game-winning goal against UC Davis with 1:24 remaining in regulation. For his efforts, Simmons has been named to multiple teams of the week and made the SMU Classic All-Tournament team.
Newcomer Andrew Morales was tabbed third-team All-C-USA follow a stellar first season with the Mustangs. The sophomore transfer was second on the Mustangs in assists (4) and points (10), and tied for second in goals (3). A clutch performer, six of the midfielder’s 10 points came on game-winning goals (1 G, 4 A). Morales is 2-for0-2 on penalty kicks this year, converting opportunities against CSU Bakersfield and at No. 23 UAB.
Michael King and John Lujano were named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team.
Both freshman were part of the defensive unit that led the league in goals allowed (6), GAA (0.75), saves made (47) and shutouts (4). King started 16 games on the back line for SMU, logging 1,499 of a possible 1,610 minutes, while Lujano appeared in every game this season, playing 1,379 minutes. Lujano earned his first collegiate point on an assist at FIU.
SMU is the top seed in the Conference USA Championship, played in Hoover, Ala., and has a first-round bye. The Mustangs play in a semifinal match Friday at 5 p.m. against the winner of the Kentucky/Memphis quarterfinal (played Wed. at 5 p.m.).
2012 C-USA Men’s Soccer Awards
Coach of the Year: Tim McClements, SMU
Players of the Year: Jaime Ibarra, SMU/Daniel Withrow, Marshall
Offensive Player of the Year: Mark Sherrod, Memphis
Defensive Player of the Year: Jaime Ibarra, SMU
Freshman of the Year: Cristian Mata, Tulsa