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Men's Soccer Heads East to Begin 2007 Season

Aug. 28, 2007

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This Week in Men's Soccer: The Saint Mary's men's soccer team will kickoff its 2007 season this weekend in North Carolina. The Gaels will partake in the Davidson Tournament which features the host Wildcats and the Charlotte 49ers. SMC will open against Davidson on Friday, August 31 at 7 p.m. (EST) and then close out the road trip with a match against the 49ers on Sunday, September 2 at 2 p.m. (EST). Both games will be played at Alumni Stadium.

Last Season Recap: The Saint Mary's men's soccer team opened the Adam Cooper era with a 4-10-6 overall record and a 2-7-3 West Coast Conference mark. SMC started out 2006 conference play in impressive fashion by downing No. 11 ranked USF 1-0 and then running past No. 10 USD 4-2. The back-to-back victories over ranked opponents marked a program first for the Gaels. Saint Mary's garnered five postseason awards last year and welcome back second-team selection Dylan Leslie. Leslie was named WCC Player of the Week on the effort of his first career hat-trick against No. 10 USD and to the All-freshmen Team. Matt Fitzgerald was named to the first-team while Desmond Brooks and Alex Christlieb garnered honorable mention status.

Scouting Davidson: The Wildcats finished the 2006 season with a 5-13-1 overall record and a 1-5-1 conference mark. As a team, the Wildcats allowed 31 goals and tallied 22 of their own. Davidson returns 18 letterwinners and lost six. The Wildcats do return their leading scorer in Tom Lavan. As a junior, Lavan paced the squad with 10 points on five goals. In net, Davidson had two goalkeepers split the majority of time. Ben Ashton and Robby Goldsberry each logged over 700 minutes. Ashton led the team with a 1.48 goals against average while Goldsberry led with 42 saves.

Versus the Wildcats: The two programs have met three times in school history. Davidson holds a 2-1 advantage, all games being played on a neutral field. The last meeting was in 1999 when the Gaels pulled out a 1-0 shutout.

Scouting Charlotte: The 49ers put together a fine season in 2006, finishing 9-5-5 overall and 5-2-2 in conference action. As a team, the 49ers scored 31 times and allowed 22 goals. Five of their six leading scorers are gone as Charlotte was decimated by graduation. Senior Tom Woollard does return and he brings with him his nine points on four goals and one assist which ranked third on the team. In net, David Martin returns for his sophomore season. As a true freshman, Martin recorded a conference leading 0.81 GAA and 55 saves. In his eight wins, seven came by the way of shutout.

Versus the 49ers: Sunday's meeting will be the first between the two programs.

Record Watch: Senior goalkeeper Brian Mason returns to play in between the pipes for the Gaels. In three years in net, Mason has put together quite the resume. Mason ranks 1st all-time with a 1.27 career GAA and 13.5 shutouts and looks to build on being ranked third all-time with 5013 minutes played in goal. Randell Smith (1983-86) leads the category with 5,530 minutes played. Mason ranks tied for fourth all-time with 246 career saves, 20 behind Steve Reardon (1995-99), who ranks third all-time. The senior also sits in fourth all time with 54 matches played and 17 wins in net. Smith ranks first with 67 matches played and Kellen Wilson (1999-01, 03) holds the mark with 22 wins.

Leslie Returns For Sophomore Season: Saint Mary's sophomore midfielder Dylan Leslie returns for his second season as a Gael. Leslie returns as the leading scorer, finding the back of the net four times as a true freshman. Leslie was named to the All-WCC Freshman Team and second-team. He was also a WCC Player of the Week after leading SMC over No. 10 USD with a hat-trick.

15 Newcomers Join Saint Mary's: Head coach Adam Cooper welcomes 15 newcomers, including 13 freshmen to the squad. Cooper secured two transfers in Bowling Green defector Justin Kim and CS Northridge defender Brian Siu. Kim was an All-MAC selection as a sophomore while Siu helped guide the Matadors to the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Of the 13 freshmen, Nick Cashmere will see significant time up front while Erik Rivas, Kyle Deremer and Jordan Grider are in line to start a good amount of games. Cooper has a lot of young depth at his disposal at nearly every position.

Carlos Diaz Leaves Program: Sophomore midfielder Carlos Diaz has left the program. Diaz was second on the team last season with 10 points on three goals and four assists. As a freshman, Diaz set the SMC single-season record with 11 assists en route to begin named to the All-WCC First-Team.

Head Coach Adam Cooper: In his first season at the helm of the Saint Mary's men's soccer program, Adam Cooper led the Gaels to new achievements. For the first time in school history the Gaels downed ranked opponents in back-to-back games. To start the 2006 conference season, SMC defeated No. 11 USF 1-0 and No. 10 USD 4-2.

Under the direction of Cooper, Desmond Brooks was selected second overall in the Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft by Chivas USA. Brooks became the first men's soccer player at SMC to be drafted by the MLS. Matt Fitzgerald was selected by the California Victory in the 2007 USL First Division College Player Draft.

Cooper was named the head coach for of the U.S. Maccabi junior boy's squad. Cooper will head a team of 14 and 15 year olds for the Maccabi Pan-American games in Argentina.

Next Week: Saint Mary's will return home and host their first game at Saint Mary's Stadium on the season. The Gaels will welcome CSU Bakersfield on Saturday, September 8, with kickoff slated for 2 p.m.