Sept. 23, 2007
LMU and Columbia battled to a goalless draw Sunday in the finale of the LMU Invitational at Sullivan Field in Los Angeles. The LMU Lions (2-4-1), despite going 1-0-1 in the tournament, finish second to champions UC Santa Barbara based on goal differential while the Columbia Lions (0-5-1) finish fourth.
Despite ending without any goals, the game was not short of chances. LMU tallied a season-high 21 shots while Columbia attempted 11.
The first half was a lively affair with both sides taking several long-range efforts.Junior Brad Stisser came close on three separate occasions for LMU, only to see each sail just wide of the post. Senior Trini Gomez also had an excellent look at the goal but his shot from 18 yards curled wide.
The second half was a continuation of the first, as shots rained down but hardly troubled either goalkeeper. Columbia's Shaun Rowatt had his team's best chance, hitting a side-volley that skirted wide. At the opposite end, LMU freshman Roland Anderson, making his second collegiate appearance, nearly scored on his first touch. Anderson was trailing in the middle as the ball went down the left touchline and was crossed low through the box and eluded several defenders. Anderson ran on and aimed a left-footed shot at the top corner but it was a sliver high.
Sophomore Greg Ricks had LMU's first scoring chance in overtime. Junior Brock Smith's cross from the left was punched out by goalkeeper Michael Testa, falling to Ricks at the edge of the area. With the goalie out, Ricks needed only to put the ball on target but his shot bounced agonizingly wide. Two minutes later, senior Tyler Mehl had a similar effort from distance that beat Testa but was also wide. Off the ensuing goal kick, Columbia's Bayo Adafin was sent in on a one-on-one. Out came LMU redshirt freshmean goalie Patrick Lane, who did enough to put Adafin off his shot as it went out of play.
Testa came up huge for Columbia in the final minutes of the second overtime. LMU served a long ball up that was headed down by redshirt freshman Josh Carroll. It fell to the feet of Stisser eight yards out. Stisser hammered his shot low but Testa got down to smother it. A minute later, Testa stretched down to his right to paw away the long-range effort from Mehl.
Testa had four saves for Columbia while Lane had one for LMU to earn his second career shutout.
LMU takes a 12-day break from play with the alumni game scheduled for next Saturday at 10 a.m. They return to competition on October 5 with the West Coast Conference opener at home against Santa Clara.
LMU Invitational Final Standings1.UC Santa Barbara, 4 pts (+4 GD)2.LMU, 4 pts (+1)3.Harvard, 1 pt (-1)4.Columbia, 1 pt (-4)