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LMU Set for Saturday's Home Opener

Aug. 30, 2007

BRIEFLY
For the first time since 2002, LMU opens its season at home, welcoming Cal Poly to Sullivan Field to kick off the 2007 season. LMU then takes to the road for two consecutive tournaments before returning to Los Angeles on September 21 and 23 for the LMU/UCSB Tournament in which it will face a pair of Ivy League foes in Harvard and Columbia.

LISTEN AND FOLLOW LIVE ON THE WEB
Loyola Marymount University, in conjunction with Stretch Internet, is proud to present, FREE, live audio broadcasts over the World Wide Web on www.LMULions.com. This week's season opener against Cal Poly will be available with Toby Kennedy calling the action. Just click on the "Listen" or "Archive" link next to the game of your choice (you will be automatically directed to download QuickTime if it's not yet installed on your computer). All broadcasts will be archived within 72 hours of their original airing and will include both the pre-game and post-game shows.All home games will also be available on Gametracker through the LMU website. Select road games will also be featured.

MEDIA GUIDE
The 2007 LMU men's soccer media guide is available for download at www.lmulions.com. This is the only source of copies of the guide.

ABOUT CAL POLY
Cal Poly turned in a 7-8-4 record last year in Paul Holocher's first season as head coach. The Mustangs went 3-5-2 in the Big West Conference, good enough for fourth place. They return 16 players, including nine starters. LMU and Cal Poly will be facing off for the first time since 1998. The Mustangs own a 4-1-0 record in the series.

LMU IN SEASON, HOME OPENERS
LMU snapped a three-match winless streak in season opener's last year by upsetting #2 Connecticut 1-0 in Storrs. The Lions are 7-16-3 all-time in season openers but 4-4-1 under Paul Krumpe. In home openers under Krumpe, LMU is 4-5-0.

LOOKING BACK
LMU came into the 2006 season with high hopes for a return to the NCAA Tournament after a year's absence. A 1-0 upset win at #2 Connecticut in the season opener got the season off to a roaring start and the Lions were 3-1 after the season's first four games. As the season progressed, LMU provided plenty of drama for its fans, as the first 15 games were all decided by a goal or fewer. Another victory at a ranked opponent, this time #15 Santa Clara at the end of September, gave the Lions more quality wins for their resumes but, alas, the postseason would again prove to be just out of reach as LMU finished 9-8-2 overall, 5-5-2 in the WCC. In the end, 17 of LMU's 19 games came down to a single goal.The Lions were honored in the postseason awards with senior Bobby Burling and junior Nick Blanco earning First Team All-WCC honors. Junior Diego Barrera was a second team selection and he and Burling each garnered All-Far West Region accolades. Sophomore Jawaan Delaney and senior Junior Ybarra rounded out the awards with places on the Honorable Mention All-WCC team. Burling went on to be drafted in the fourth round of the MLS SuperDraft by the Los Angeles Galaxy.

WCC COACHES PICK LMU IN A TIE FOR FOURTH
LMU men's soccer was selected to finish the 2007 seasons in a tie for fourth, according to West Coast Conference coaches in the annual preseason poll. The Lions received 19 points, the same number as Portland, while Santa Clara is the preseason favorite to capture its second straight conference title. San Francisco is picked second after making the NCAA Tournament in 2006, followed by San Diego. After LMU and Portland sit Gonzaga and Saint Mary's, respectively.

RECRUITING CLASS TABBED IN THE NATIONAL TOP-40 BY COLLEGE SOCCER NEWS
Head Coach Paul Krumpe's 2007 recruiting class has been ranked #40 in the nation by College Soccer News in the publication's recent preseason release. LMU was one of two West Coast Conference teams to be ranked, along with Santa Clara, which was 14th. Krumpe has 11 new players joining the Lions this fall, nine incoming freshman and one transfer. The freshman class is highlighted by forward Rafael Baca and goalkeeper Jack McCormack, who both played for the Arsenal FC club team that recently finished as national runners-up. Baca will be joined up front in the incoming class by Nate Fischer, Sharif Khatib, and Roland Anderson. Midfielders Vincent Ocampo, Go Eto, and Gio Lopez also will be part of the Lions squad, as will defender Andrew Park, the CIF Division I Offensive Player of the Year. Defenders Brock Smith and Greg Ricks have transferred in from Santiago Canyon College and Irvine Valley College, respectively.

WATCH CLOSELY: Vincent Ocampo NAMED ONE OF 100 "FRESHMEN TO WATCH" IN 2007
Freshman midfielder Vincent Ocampo had hardly even stepped on campus before the spotlight was on him. Tabbed as one of College Soccer News' "100 Freshmen to Keep an Eye On", Ocampo arrives at LMU having earned NSCAA All-American honors as a high school senior at Mt. Carmel HS in San Diego.

ONLY THE BEST TO FACE THE LIONS
LMU's 2007 schedule will once again test the team at every turn. The Lions face six teams that made the 2006 NCAA Tournament, with five of those opponents coming in the Lions' first nine games. Four opponents(Santa Clara, New Mexico, Saint Louis, and Harvard) are ranked in the NSCAA preseason poll, with a fifth, Creighton, sitting just outside.Seeking its first NCAA postseason appearance since 2004, the Lions will compete in three tournaments in the season's first month. After the home opener against Cal Poly, the road starts at New Mexico's tournament, where the Lions will face the hosts and Central Florida. The following week it's off to the Saint Louis/Nike Classic and games against the host Billikins and Creighton. A third tournament in a row, this time at home, brings a pair of Ivy League foes in Harvard and Columbia to Sullivan Field on September 21-23 before the WCC schedule opens with a home date against defending champions Santa Clara."I like to challenge my guys to see where we are," Krumpe said of the early tournaments. "All six teams we face in those tournaments will be tough games and the quick turnaround between contests will test our fitness level."

NOW, NOW, WHO DO WE HAVE HERE?
LMU lost three All-WCC performers from last year's team in seniors Bobby Burling and Junior Ybarra and junior Diego Barrera who, along with senior David Niemeyer, comprised four of the team's top eight scorers from 2006. The good news is that they return First Team All-WCC senior Nick Blanco and junior Brad Stisser, who tied for the team lead with four goals last year. Also back are senior Trini Gomez, who led LMU with six goals in 2005 and junior Jawaan Delaney, who gained honorable mention All-WCC status last year. In total, 13 letterwinners and six starters return to the Bluff in 2007.

WHO'S IN GOAL?
The biggest question coming into 2007 will be the identity of the man between the pipes. Junior Miguel Benitez is the only Lion with collegiate experience in goal, having appeared in two games each of the past two seasons. That doesn't mean he's a lock to be the starter, however, as the Lions have three talented youngsters looking to stake their claim to that job. Sophomore Patrick Sampson, redshirt freshman Patrick Lane, and true freshman Jack McCormack all have the ability to step in and be the Lions' keeper. Who will win? Stay tuned.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A GOAL MAKES
Last season, each of LMU's first 15 games came down to a single goal as the Lions had 17 of their 19 matches decided by one goal or fewer. The team turned in a respectable 8-7-2 record in such games, which included five that went into double overtime.

LIONS WELCOME BACK ERUSH
Former Lion standout Michael Erush returns to LMU for his first season as an assistant coach on Krumpe's staff. Erush was a member of the Lions' squads from 2000-03 and was a two-time All-WCC selection before being moving on to play two years in the MLS with Colorado and Chivas USA.

LIONS AIM FOR NINTH STRAIGHT SEASON ABOVE .500
With its 9-8-2 record in 2006, LMU secured its eighth consecutive season above .500. The Lions have never finished with a losing record under Paul Krumpe and have gone .500 or better in WCC play in each of the last five years.