Sept. 9, 2007
LMU's quest for the 2007 Nike/TLC Plumbing and Utility Invitational title was spoiled by Central Florida's Matt Luzunaris, who scored the game's only goal in the 65th minute, as the Knights posted a 1-0 victory. LMU falls to 1-2-0 on the young season while UCF improves to 2-1-0.
With both teams having won their tournament openers on Friday night, Sunday morning's match would turn out to be the championship. The sides came out firing in an energetic first half that saw the Lions out-shoot the Knights 10-5. LMU's best opportunities to score came from their six first-half corner kicks. Junior defender Alex Proano, junior defender Jawaan Delaney, and senior forward Nick Blanco all had their attempts fire just off-target while junior defender Garrett Maloney forced UCF goalkeeper Sean Johnson into a save off a corner just before halftime.
In the second half, freshman forward Rafael Baca's shot from the left wing forced Johnson into a save in the 62nd minute and three minutes later, Central Florida took the lead. Mike Mattson started the move with a pass from the middle to the right side of the box, where Luzunaris ran on and slotted it into the corner.
The Lions pushed forward looking for the equalizer but were unable to breach the Knight goal.
Redshirt freshman Patrick Lane made three saves in goal for the Lions while Johnson stopped seven shots. LMU held an overall advantage of 19-15 in shots and 11-3 in corner kicks.
The Lions face a short week as they return to campus before departing for the Saint Louis/Nike Soccer Classic, where they will face a pair of NCAA Tournament squads from 2006. LMU takes on Saint Louis on Thursday and Creighton on Saturday.