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Men's Soccer to Host Fall Soccer Classic

Sept. 5, 2006

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This Week In Men's Soccer: The Saint Mary's men's soccer team (1-2-1) will host Bowling Green (1-3-0) and UC Riverside (1-2-0) in the SMC Fall Soccer Classic. The Gaels will open tournament play against the Bowling Green Falcons on Friday, September 8 at 4 p.m. SMC will then play UCR on Sunday, September 10 at 11 a.m. Both games will be played at Garaventa Field.

Last Week Recap: The Gaels had a heartbreaking week as they dropped two 1-0 decisions, one coming in double overtime to Cal Poly. SMC fell on the road against San Jose State 1-0 despite out-shooting the Spartans 23-8. Against the Mustangs, the Gaels dropped the game with less than six minutes left in the second overtime. Over the week, junior goalkeeper Brian Mason allowed two goals and tallied six saves in 194 minutes.

SMC Fall Soccer Classic: A total of four games will be played at two different sites. At Garaventa Field on Friday, September 8 Saint Mary's will host Bowling Green at 4 p.m. From Hornets Field on the Sacramento State campus, the Hornets will face the UC Riverside Highlanders at 4 p.m. On Sunday, September 10, the Gaels will host the Highlanders at 11 a.m. followed by the last game of the classic at 1:30 p.m., the Hornets versus the Falcons. Both games will be played at Garaventa Field.

Scouting Bowling Green: The Falcons enter Moraga with a 1-3-0 record after dropping two games last weekend. BGSU fell to Coastal Carolina 2-0 on Friday before dropping a 2-1 decision to Furman. The Falcons lone win on the year came in a 2-1 overtime decision against Western Illinois. BGSU has allowed seven goals and scored four times.

Offensively the Falcons are led by Ahmad Smith's two goals. Ryan Perea and Justin Kim have tallied a goal each. In net, Paul Shoemaker has started all four games and has allowed seven goals and recorded 11 saves.

Versus Bowling Green: The two teams met last year for the first time in the history of the two programs. In Bowling Green, OH, the Falcons defeated the Gaels 3-1.

Scouting UC Riverside: The Highlanders will host San Diego State on Wednesday before heading north to face Sacramento State and Saint Mary's. UCR is coming off a 2-1 victory against UNLV to improve its record to 1-2-0. The Highlanders have been out-scored 5-4 and out-shot 37-26.

Offensively UCR is led by Erasmo Solorzano's four points on two goals. Both goals came in the 2-1 victory over UNLV. For his efforts, Solorzano was named Big West Player of the Week. Andrew Villalobos has tallied three points on three assists while Nathan Paterson and Brandon Plummer have recorded a goal each. In net, Charles Alamo has started all three games and has allowed five goals and tallied 12 saves while posting a 1.56 goals against average.

Versus UC Riverside: The two programs have met twice in their history with the Highlanders taking both games. The last time the two programs met was in 2004 when UCR defeated SMC 4-2 on a neutral field.

League Leaders: After two weekends of play a couple of Gaels rest atop numerous statistical categories in the WCC. Carlos Diaz currently leads the conference in goals with two and is second in game winning goals with one, shots 15, shots per game 3.75 and points four. Junior keeper Brian Mason, who led the WCC in saves in 2005 with 94 is currently second with 16 and third in saves per game with four.

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 204. The Laguna Niguel native moved into fifth all-time in matches played with 43 and minutes played with 3,944. Mason is also currently sixth in wins with 14.

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.

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 head on the road for two games next week. Saint Mary's will travel to Las Vegas, NV to participate in the UNLV Tournament. On Friday, September 15 the Gaels will face host UNLV at 7 p.m. and then on Sunday, September 17 SMC will matchup against UC Irvine at Noon. Both games will be played at Peter Johann Field.