Oct. 21, 2007
Los Angeles, CA - LMU out-shot Saint Mary's 17-9 but ultimately came away empty, falling 1-0 to the Gaels in a West Coast Conference match Sunday afternoon at Sullivan Field in Los Angeles.
It was a difficult loss for the Lions (2-9-1, 0-5-0 WCC), who dominated possession for the full 90 minutes but suffer their fifth straight defeat. From the opening whistle, LMU showed more energy going forward, taking the game's first six shots and constantly putting the Gaels (4-5-1, 1-3-1 WCC) under pressure. Senior Adam Sloustcher had two chances, the first on a long-range attempt and the second a header in the box, but both were saved by SMC goalie Keenan Flynn.
Two more opportunities presented themselves for senior Nick Blanco as a result of the Lion forwards linking up. After a long Gael throw-in was cleared by the defense, LMU found itself on a 3-on-2 break. Senior Tyler Mehl passed to Blanco on an overlap but his shot was charged down by the last defender for a corner. In the 17th minute, a cross from the right was headed down by senior Stephen Carlson to Blanco, whose shot from 10 yards was just high.
Despite dominating the offensive possession, the Lions found themselves trailing in the 28th minute as the Gaels scored the game-winner completely against the run of play. Justin Kim collected the ball 30 yards out and turned his man, taking it to the byline on the left. His cross sailed over the heads of everyone in the box, finding the feet of Scott Eberhardt, who arrived at the back post to hit a one-touch volley past Lane.
The Lions started the second half as lively as the first and had another scoring chance go wide in the 50th minute. Freshman Rafael Baca skillfully turned his man on the left and crossed for senior Trini Gomez. Gomez's shot was wide left but he would get another chance moments later when he found himself free in the box. His header was on target, forcing Flynn low to his right for the save.
The Gaels continued to live dangerously as the Lions dominate possession and attacked with numbers. In the 85th minute, sophomore Garrett Maloney sent Carlson through on the left and Carlson crossed to junior Brad Stisser. Stisser hit a blistering left-footed shot but Flynn was equal to the task, going low to his right for the save. Seconds later, Flynn came off his line but was beaten to the ball by sophomore Wilkie Johnson, who poked it past the goalie but could only watch as the ball trickled wide.
LMU would have one final flurry of corners and shots in the final few minutes. Sophomore Steffen Canty had an open header off a corner in the 86th minute that was blocked by a defender and Blanco's shot from 10 yards was deflected just wide.
The Lions play a home-and-home series next week against San Diego, visiting the Toreros at 7 p.m. on Thursday and hosting them on Sunday at 2 p.m. Sunday's match will be the second game of a doubleheader, following the LMU-San Francisco women's match.