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WCC Men's Soccer Recaps - 8/26

Aug. 26, 2006

LMU - 1
UConn - 0

STORRS, Conn. - The LMU men's soccer team shocked #2 Connecticut in front of 5489 at Morrone Stadium tonight, handing the Huskies a 1-0 defeat to start the season. It marks the fifth straight season that LMU (1-0) has defeated a top-10 opponent, and the first time since October 2004 that the Huskies (0-1) have lost at home. Trini Gomez scored the game winner in the 34th minute and Rob Flores made six saves to record his first shutout of the season.

The contest marks LMU's furthest road game in school history and the Lions will fondly remember their trip to Storrs. At 34:00, Gomez took a cross along the face of the goal from senior Bobby Burling and buried it into the lower right corner of the goal past Husky goalkeeper Matt Sangeloty to put LMU up 1-0.

The Huskies, ranked #2 in the NSCAA/adidas preseason poll, outshot LMU 7-5 in the opening period, including four shots on goal to LMU's two. But Flores saved all four shots on goal to maintain the Lion lead.

Connecticut continued their attack in the second half, but again the Lions held tough. UConn outshot LMU 8-3 but only three shots were on goal. Flores made two saves and the Lion defense made a team save.

Junior Brad Stisser led LMU with three shots (two on goal) in 61 minutes of action off of the bench. David Niemeyer added two shots for LMU. O'Brian White led Connecticut with four shots, and Ryan Cordeiro and Chukwudi Chijindu added three shots apiece.

Chijindu posted one of the Huskies' closest scoring opportunities of the first half when he took a sliding shot from the center of the penalty area off a centering pass from White in the 27th minute. The junior forward would come up short again in the second period as he beat the Lions' defense and took an open shot from the right side, only to stopped by the diving Flores.

Just over four minutes later, late in the 81st minute, UConn's steady attack brought Flores off his line, leaving the goal mouth open for the Husky offense. White got his head on the ball and sent it towards the middle of the seemingly open net, but a leaping Lion defender got his own head on the ball for a team save, sending it back into play.

Flores finished the game with six saves, while Sangeloty made four saves in his collegiate debut.

The LMU men's soccer program has recorded several top 10 victories over the last four seasons and this season has proven to be no exception. In 2002, the Lions knocked off then-#3 UCLA 2-0 in front of 1500 at Sullivan Field. In 2003, LMU recorded three victories over top-10 teams- a 2-1 double OT win over #7 Creighton at Sullivan Field, a 1-0 win at then #9 UC Santa Barbara, and a 3-0 win over then-#6 Santa Clara at Sullivan Field.

In 2004, the Lions knocked off then-#2 Santa Clara 4-0 at Sullivan Field, and last season, LMU recorded three wins against top-10 teams. In non-conference action, LMU handed then-#10 UC Santa Barbara a 2-1 defeat, and swept its season series with Santa Clara. Both times that LMU knocked off SCU, the Broncos were ranked #5.

Connecticut was undefeated at home in 2005, going 12-0-2 in games at Morrone Stadium. The last time UConn lost at home was on October 20, 2004 when they dropped a 2-0 game to Boston College.

The Lions look for the road sweep on Monday afternoon when they travel to New Britain, CT to take on the Blue Devils of Central Connecticut State University. It will be the season opener for CCSU. Fans can follow all of the action on Gametracker at www.LMULions.com.

Portland - 0
New Mexico - 0

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Pilots and No. 3 New Mexico Lobos played 110 minutes of scoreless soccer as the season opener for both teams ends in a 0-0 tie on Saturday night at Merlo Field at the Clive Charles Soccer Complex. Senior goalkeeper Luis Robles made nine saves to record his 18th career shutout.

The Pilots had two goals taken off the scoreboard in the first half because of offsides calls by the official. In the 17th minute, junior Matthew Dallman ripped a shot from 15 yards out from just right of the goal. The shot bounced off the UNM keeper Mike Graczyk allowing freshman Collen Warner to put the rebound into the back of the net. Dallman was called offsides.

Just 10 minutes later, The Pilots appeared to take a 1-0 lead, but again offsides was called. After Warner got free in the box with some nifty moves, he found an unmarked Alex Elliott to the left of the goal seven yards out. Elliott easily put it past the keeper and into the net.

New Mexico's first good look came in the 18th minute. P.J. Wilson had possession just outside of the 18-yard box. He spun and fired a shot that Robles had to leap to save and send it over the crossbar.

The second half was evenly played as both teams looked to attack. 20 minutes into the half, Portland went with an offensive line-up by substituting sophomore Steven Hosseinmardi, an attacking midfielder, for junior Jeff Griffin, a holding midfielder. Moments later, Warner had Portland's first good look of the second half. Warner fired a sinking line drive towards the left post from 25 yards out. Graczyk was just able to knock down the ball and make the save.

Neither team seriously threatened the goal after that. The Pilots took five shots during regulation, while the Lobos countered with six.

The Pilots had the first two shots of the extra period. Almost two minutes in, junior Michael Gavin fed an unmarked Christopher Sanders, a junior, just to the left of the goal. His shot found the hands of Graczyk. Moments later, Elliott gained control at the top of the box, turned to shed the defender before missing the frame high and wide with a chip shot.

Elliott had another solid look a few minutes later. He found himself with possession in the box and a one-v-one opportunity with Graczyk, who was able to make the save on the low shot from 10 yards out.

In the second overtime, after New Mexico had a shot go just wide, the Pilots had a good opportunity to end the game. With just 30 seconds remaining, sophomore Leland Wright (pictured) went near post with a shot from 18 yards out from the right wing. Graczyk made a diving save to preserve the tie. Wright led the Pilots with three shots and two shots on goal.

Graczyk made six saves, as the Pilots outshot the Lobos 10-9. New Mexico had seven corner kicks to Portland's one.

The Pilots next host the Nike Invitational next weekend at Merlo Field. Portland hosts Vermont at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 1, before playing Air Force at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 3. Washington is also part of the field.