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Spring Schedule Continues

March 12, 2007

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The LMU men's soccer team has continued to play well as the spring schedule has progressed. The Lions fell to the Los Angeles Galaxy, and shutout Cal State Fullerton. The Lions continue spring play at Cal State Northridge this Thursday at 11:30am.

On February 15th, the Lions dropped a 2-0 decision to the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer.

The MLS's premier franchise wasted no time in setting the offensive tempo as Nate Jacqua hit the post in the third minute. The Galaxy then opened the scoring with a goal at the 5:00 minute mark. The Lions were unable to clear defensively and the Galaxy went on the board with a Robbie Findley shot from the 18 yard box and found it's way into the near corner, beating Lion goalkeeper Patrick Lane.

After the early fireworks, the Lions were able find a bit of rhythm as the game settled down. As the half moved on, LMU created two solid chances of their own. Josh Carroll's long-range shot in the 24th minute forced Galaxy keeper Steve Cronin to parry the ball wide but Tyler Mehl was unable to beat Cronin to the rebound. Nick Blanco also saw his credible effort saved by Cronin in the 33rd minute. Freshman goalkeeper Pat Lane was solid in his Lion debut and was able to keep the game 1-0 going into halftime.

The Lions started the second half in good form, and Steffen Canty provided some nice attacking moments as the Lions applied pressure to start the second half. Defensively, the Lions came up with another solid effort as the Galaxy applied a good amount of pressure throughout the match. Adam Sloustcher, Wilkie Johnson, and Blayze Hanson all turned in credible performances, as did LMU goalkeeper Miguel Benitez, who replaced Lane at halftime. The final addition to the score line was provided by the Galaxy with less than five minutes to play, as LMU was caught on the counter attack and Laurent Merlin was able to beat Benitez and a scrambling Lion defense to make the score 2-0 in the 85th minute.

"These past two games against Chivas and the Galaxy have been excellent tests against two very good opponents," commented LMU Head Coach Paul Krumpe. "The opportunity for our group to see the next level first hand is a fantastic one. I'm very proud of the effort our team showed against the Galaxy and in our game against Chivas USA. There are a lot of positives for us to take away from these two games."

The LMU men's soccer team battled CSU Fullerton to a scoreless tie on March 1st in front of a crowd of 675 at Titan Stadium.

The Lions, who had 11 shots, had a multitude of chances in the game but just missed on several shots. Nick Blanco and Tyler Mehl were particularly dangerous but unable to convert, recording three shots each on goal.

LMU also had its opportunities in the first half. Blanco had a great chance as he broke through on the right side only to see his effort saved by a sliding Titan defender in the 34th minute. Mehl also had a big opportunity in the 40th minute, beating two defenders and finding himself alone at the penalty spot. However, his effort squeaked by the post to keep the game scoreless.

The second half provided non-stop action with the Lions enjoying the majority of the play but neither team was able to provide itself with many clear cut chances. In the best chance of the second stanza, Diego Barrera had what looked to be a sure goal in the 62nd minute when his header beat the goalkeeper but was saved off the line. His subsequent effort from the rebound found the wrong side of the side netting.

Overall, it was a solid performance by the Lions, with strong defensive performances again from the Lions central defenders Adam Sloustcher and Wilkie Johnson. Freshman Blayze Hanson had a solid performance at right back and Garrett Maloney was excellent as he patrolled the left flank for the Lions.

In his first start of the spring season, Lions goalkeeper Patrick Sampson was excellent in the first half; Miguel Benitez played the second half to keep the shutout.

The Lions continue their spring slate with a game at Cal State Northridge on Thursday, March 15 at 11:30 am.