Oct. 5, 2007
Los Angeles, CA - Looking for its third upset of a ranked opponent this season, LMU fell 1-0 to defending West Coast Conference champion and 4th-ranked Santa Clara in the teams' conference opener Friday afternoon at Sullivan Field. Jamil Roberts scored the game's only goal in the 35th minute while both teams were reduced to 10 men in the second half.
Blustery conditions at Sullivan Field took both teams out of their game plans as winds of over 25 miles per hour gusted for the full 90 minutes. LMU (2-5-1, 0-1-0), looking to knock off the taller Broncos (6-1-2, 1-0-0) for the third straight season, tried to use the conditions to its advantage, keeping the ball low and using its pace the create through-balls.
It was Santa Clara who had the game's first chance in the seventh minute. Off a corner kick on the right, Brian Martin dribbled across the 18-yard box and hit a left-footed shot that bounced back off the post.
LMU had three near-misses in the first half. Free kicks by senior Trini Gomez and junior Brad Stisser both went agonizingly wide while a cross from the right was almost turned into the net for an own goal by Santa Clara's Chris Sauter.
Santa Clara's goal would come from a free kick and a scramble in the box. After an LMU foul on the right side near the touchline, the ball was served into the box and Jide Ogunbiyi got his head to it. Redshirt freshman GK Patrick Lane sprawled to save, pawing the ball off the goalline. A scramble ensued and Roberts got to it first for what would prove to be the game-winner.
Soon after halftime, LMU would be handed a man advantage with the dismissal of Santa Clara's Aaron Clubb after a tussle in the penalty area away from the ball. The Lions looked to take advantage for the final 37 minutes but Santa Clara retreated most of its players behind the ball to thwart any Lion attack. LMU sophomore Alex Proano was issued a red card in the 85th minute to put both teams back on level terms. The game featured five yellow cards and the two reds.
SCU held an 11-7 shot advantage and 7-3 on corner kicks. Lane had two saves for the Lions, coming to the rescue in the 82nd minute with a point-blank save on Martin. Kevin Klasila had one save for Santa Clara.
The Lions have played five ranked opponents in its first eight matches, going 2-3-0 against teams in the top-25. All three losses have been by a 1-0 scoreline.
LMU takes its first road trip of the conference season next week, traveling to Gonzaga on Friday and Portland on Sunday.