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Men's Soccer to Play San Jose State and Cal Poly

Aug. 28, 2006

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This Week in Men's Soccer: The Saint Mary's men's soccer team will hit the road for one more game before coming home for its first home match of the season. SMC will begin its week against San Jose State on Thursday, August 31 at 7 p.m. from Spartan Stadium. The Gaels will return home on Saturday, September 2 to host the Cal Poly Mustangs at 2 p.m. from Garaventa Field.

Who's Hot: Saint Mary's sophomore forward Carlos Diaz has not missed a beat thus far in 2006 as he continues to build on his stellar freshman campaign. The 2005 All-WCC first team selection equaled his single-season mark of two goals in just two games played this season. Diaz tallied two of the Gaels' three goals this weekend including the game winner against Wright State. Diaz was also responsible for the lone SMC goal against Butler, a 45-yard blast on a free kick in the 83rd minute. For his efforts, Diaz was selected to the Wright State Adidas Cup All-Tournament Team.

Last Week Recap: The Gaels traveled to Fairborn, OH and came away with a 1-0-1 record. In the first game of the Wright State Adidas Cup, SMC played Butler University to a 1-1 draw. Against host Wright State, the Gaels came away with a 2-1 decision handing first-year head coach Adam Cooper his first career victory. Sophomore Carlos Diaz tallied two goals on the weekend while senior Matthew Fitzgerald recorded his first goal of the season against WSU. Junior goalkeeper Brian Mason came away with 10 saves and two goals against in the two games played.

Scouting San Jose State: The Spartans will host the Gaels with a 1-0 record after dropping a 3-2 decision to Cal State Fullerton on August 27. Jacob Morrison and Keven Azevedo scored the goals for SJSU. Last season the Spartans finished with an 11-5-3 overall record and a 7-2-1 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation mark. With four returning starters and seven returning lettermen, the San Jose State men's soccer team has been picked to finish second in the MPSF in 2006, in a preseason poll conducted by league head coaches.

The Spartans will be without three starters as they were given red cards against Fullerton. In that game a total of 18 cards were handed out including six of the color red. Offensively Hiroki Akiyama led SJSU with six shots and an assist. Patrick Scheufler rallied off five shots with one on goal. Richard Mann returns for the Spartans in net, Mann made nine saves against CSF and finished the 2005 season with 58 saves and a 1.13 goals against average.

Versus the Spartans: San Jose holds an 15-8 advantage in the all-time series. In games played in San Jose the Spartans sport an 8-2 mark. Last season the two teams met at Spartan Stadium with SJSU taking home a 3-1 victory on September 7.

Scouting Cal Poly: The Mustangs enter Moraga with a 0-1-1 record. Cal Poly dropped its season opener against New Hampshire 3-2 and tied Vermont 0-0 in the New Hampshire Tournament. Cal Poly scored two goals on the weekend, both coming against UNH. Jeff Meyer Jr. and Barrett Park were responsible for the goals. Last season the Mustangs finished 6-14 overall and 1-9 in Big West action.

In net, Jeremy Coupe started the first 77 minutes of the UNH game and allowed all three goals. Eric Franco-Branagan took over and played the rest of the way including the Vermont shutout. Branagan-Franco has not allowed a goal in 122 minutes and has tallied four saves.

Versus the Mustangs: Cal Poly holds a 9-4-2 advantage in the all-time series. In Moraga, the Mustangs showcase a 4-2-2 mark. The last time the two teams met was in September of 2002 when Cal Poly won 1-0 in overtime in San Luis Obispo.

All Tournament Team: Three Gaels were named to the Wright State Adidas Cup All-Tournament Team. Sophomore forward Carlos Diaz who tallied two of SMC's three goals on the weekend was joined by senior midfielder Matthew Fitzgerald and junior midfielder Jason Stanwood. Fitzgerald tallied a goal against Wright State and Stanwood was solid on both sides of the ball.

Cooper Notches First Career Win: First year head coach Adam Cooper recorded his first career victory in a 2-1 over Wright State Sunday. Only two coaches in the history of the program have earned their first career win quicker. Bob Martin and Steve Rammel both tallied wins in their first career game at the helm. Cooper earned a tie in game one against Butler.

Mason Watch: Junior goalkeeper Brian Mason is quickly rising up the SMC career records. The SMC shutout and goals against average leader is currently sitting in fifth in saves with 198. Mason is sixth in wins with 14, matches played with 41 and minutes played with 3,750.

League Leaders: After the first weekend of play a couple of Gaels rest atop numerous statistical categories in the WCC. Carlos Diaz currently leads the conference in points with four, points per game with two, goals with two, goals per game with one and game winning goals with one. Junior keeper Brian Mason, who led the WCC in saves in 2005 with 94 currently leads with 10 in two games.

Newcomers Making Their Mark: Five SMC newcomers cracked the starting lineup for the Gaels' opening game. Up front, freshman Ryan Corriveau got the nod in both games and tallied two shots. In the midfield, the freshmen duo of Bryan VanDoorninck and Patrick Johns started game one. VanDoorninck also started game two with both newcomers recording a shot. In the back, freshman Dylan Leslie started both games while sophomore transfer Brett Gallinger started the opener.

First-Year Head Coach Adam Cooper: After serving as an assistant coach for the Saint Mary's men's soccer team for five seasons, Adam Cooper was promoted to head coach as a unanimous choice by the selection committee, players and staff. Cooper officially took over the program on December 29, 2005.

As an assistant at SMC, Cooper was instrumental in the Gaels tying a school-record with nine wins in 2005. Cooper has also stamped his name on some impressive recruiting classes that included 2003 West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year Matthew Fitzgerald, 2005 Freshman of the Year Michael Clegg and 2004 Second-Team Freshman All-American Brian Mason.

Cooper's playing experience includes one year of professional soccer with the Orange County Waves in the Division II A-League where he was the seventh pick in the first round of the 2000 A-League draft. Prior to playing professionally, Cooper was a four-year letter-winner at UCLA, helping the Bruins to the NCAA Championship in 1997 and a Final Four appearance in 1999. During that time he earned Academic All-Conference honors in 1996 and 1999 and completed a bachelor's degree in Sociology.

Next Week: The Gaels will remain at home to host the Saint Mary's Classic. SMC will host Bowling Green on Friday, September 8 at 4 p.m. On Sunday, September 10 the Gaels will face UC Riverside at 11 a.m. Both games will be played in the newly renovated Saint Mary's Stadium.