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Lions Spend Summer Among Nation's Best In USL's Premier Development League

June 24, 2007

LOS ANGELES -- With their season just around the corner, members of the Loyola Marymount men's soccer team are spending the summer months hard at work, preparing to compete for a West Coast Conference title in the fall. Ten Lions have joined teams in the Premier Development League of United Soccer Leagues. The league is comprised of affiliates for professionals clubs all over the country, including several Major League Soccer organizations, and it features some of the top college players from across the nation.

The Lions have five representatives on the Colorado Rapids Under-23 squad. Senior midfielder Nick Blanco has played in seven of the team's games through June 24. He is fifth on the team with three points on one goal and one assist, and third on the team with 491 minutes played. Junior midfielder Brad Stisser has played in six games and is second on the Rapids with two goals, four points, and 504 minutes. He has also taken a team-leading 12 shots on goal. Junior midfielder Garrett Maloney has played 127 minutes in four games and scored a goal on his only shot of the season. Senior defender Stephen Carlson has totaled 70 minutes in two games for the Rapids, with one shot on goal. Sophomore midfielder Josh Carroll is also spending his summer as a member of the Rapids.

Two LMU players have stayed local, competing for the Los Angeles Storm. Sophomore goalkeeper Patrick Lane has started seven of the team's eight games in net, and has made a team-leading 30 saves. Lane has also recorded one assist. Joining Lane on the Storm is senior forward Tyler Mehl, who has played 60 minutes in three games.

Redshirt junior goalkeeper Miguel Benitez also remained in Southern California for the summer. He has started four games in net for the Orange County Blue Star and leads the team with 16 saves.

Another Lion goalie, redshirt sophomore Patrick Sampson, has started four games at goalkeeper for the Cascade Surge in Salem, Ore. Sampson has made a team-leading 28 saves.

Senior Adam Sloustcher has started seven games and played 585 minutes at defender for the San Jose Frogs. Sloustcher has helped San Jose to a 7-3-1 record and a second place standing in the Southwest Division.

Finally, sophomore forward Andrew Morris is in Utah for the summer, playing with the Ogden Outlaws. Morris has played 398 minutes in six games and ranks second on the team in assists.

As for the rest of the Lions, several members of the team are spending their summers playing for club teams across the country. In addition, incoming freshmen Jack McCormack and Vinny Ocampo recently completed competition in the U.S. Youth Soccer Region IV Under-18 Far West Regionals. Ocampo helped his team, the CS SD Surf White to a 2-1-1 overall record. They were defeated in the quarterfinal game by McCormack's squad, the Arsenal FC, who went a perfect 6-0 in the tournament and won the championship game on Sunday, June 24.

The Lions open their 2007 LMU campaign on Saturday, Sept. 1 when they host Cal Poly at Sullivan Field.