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Lions Return to New England For Harvard Invitational

Sept. 6, 2006

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The LMU men's soccer team makes a return trip to New England for the second time in three weeks when it will play in the Harvard Invitational this weekend. The Lions will face Rhode Island on Friday and the host Crimson on Sunday. LMU is coming off of a 2-1 win over Marquette at Sullivan Field last Saturday.

About Rhode Island
The Rams are 1-1-1 on the season and are coming off of a 1-0 overtime loss to Old Dominion last Sunday. URI picked up a 2-1 over Providence College in its season opener on August 28th, but hasn't scored a goal since. Jeffrey Gonsalves and Callum Bissett scored for the Rams against PC. Mark Sauter as a 0.59 GAA in three games including a shutout of Villanova. Last season, URI advanced to the NCAA Tournament, falling in the first round to Brown.

About Harvard
The Crimson are 2-1 on the season and are coming off of a 3-1 win over Maine on Tuesday. Harvard has scored three goals in each of its three games. Against Old Dominion on Sunday, the Crimson went down 3-0 by the 51st minute, but scored three goals in an eight minute span to tie the game. However, ODU scored the game-winner in the 89th minute to hand Harvard its first loss of the year. Charles Altchek and Andre Apkan each have two goals and two assists this season. Adam Hahn has a 2.00 GAA and has saved 62.5% of shots faced.

Looking Back
LMU thoroughly dominated Marquette for a 2-1 win last Saturday. The Lions did not allow a shot in the first half, and outshot the Golden Eagles 18-2 for the game. Defender Bobby Burling gave the Lions a quick lead in the seventh minute, and Brad Stisser put in the game-winner in the 75th minute. LMU controlled the game from the start, taking a quick 1-0 lead at 6:10. Junior Adam Sloustcher fed the ball to Michael Ogletree on the outside in front of the Marquette bench. The right side defender launched a perfect ball to central defender Burling who was waiting inside the 18 yard box. The senior settled the ball with his leg before calmly slotting it past a charging Matt Pyzdrowski to put LMU ahead. The Golden Eagles came out of the halftime break more aggressive and were able to tie the game in the 56th minute. Dan Addis took the ball into the Lion defense and launched a low, hard shot from the top of the box to the far right corner. Miguel Benitez dove for the ball, but could not stop it and the game was tied. LMU had several close calls in the second half, but couldn't convert until the 75th minute. Sophomore Alex Proano crossed a ball from the right side to David Niemeyer in the middle. The senior flicked the ball to the left side to Stisser who eluded the Marquette goalkeeper and launched a low hard shot to the far post to give the Lions a lead. That would be all they needed as Marquette managed just one more shot in the game.

Niemeyer Nabs Award
Senior David Niemeyer was named the WCC Player of the Week on September 4th. He scored his first goal of the season to give the Lions a 1-0 lead against Central Connecticut, and assisted on the game-winner against Marquette. It is the first career award for the forward and the second straight week that a Lion won the weekly award. It was a busy week for Niemeyer, who was also given the award for the male student-athlete with the highest Spring 2006 GPA. He received the award at LMU's annual Welcome Back Barbecue.

Lions All-Access
For another season, all of LMU's home games will be broadcast live on Lions All-Access at www.LMULions.com. For the first time, all broadcasts on All-Access will be available for FREE. Toby Kennedy will be bringing you all of the action from Sullivan Field.

Fans who aren't able to make the trek to Sullivan Field can still follow the action statistically on Gametracker. The live stats can be found at www.LMULions.com In addition, selected road games will also carry Gametracker. Check the LMU website for the complete schedule.

Burling Climbs the Charts
Despite being moved to defense for the 2006 season, senior Bobby Burling still continues to climb the LMU career points chart. With his goal against Marquette, Burling now has 38 career points and moves in sixth place on the career points list. In addition, he now has 14 career assists, good for eighth all-time at LMU. He has 12 career goals, tied for seventh all-time. Burling spent his first three years with the Lions at the forward position.

Gomez Nabs Weekly Award
Trini Gomez was named the WCC Co-Player of the Week for his role in leading the Lions to the 1-0 win over then-#2 Connecticut. It is the first career WCC award for the junior midfielder from Inglewood, CA. In addition, Gomez was also named to the Soccer America and College Soccer News Teams of the Week. It is his first time earning those weekly honors as well.

LMU in the Rankings
Following the win over then-#2 Connecticut, LMU moved into the national rankings for the first time in 2006. LMU was ranked #14 by Soccer America, their highest ranking. After the loss to Central Connecticut, the Lions fell out of all four national polls, but are still receiving votes in three of the polls. LMU is ranked #5 in the Far West NSCAA Regional Poll.

Strength of Schedule
LMU's schedule is annually among the nation's toughest and this season proves to be no different. In addition to facing UCLA in a preseason exhibition, the Lions will play seven games against teams ranked in this week's top 25.

Colorado Connection
A quick look at the LMU roster shows that several of the Lions are from the state of Colorado. Seven players came to LMU from Colorado. The Centennial State is represented in every class, with two seniors, one junior, three sophomores and one freshman. In addition, Josh Carroll played club soccer in Colorado, commuting from his home state of Wyoming. LMU assistant coach Mathes Mennell attended the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.

Toby's Take
In addition to his responsibilities as the team manager and the Voice of the Lions on Lions All-Access, Toby Kennedy will also be writing a column on www.LMULions.com throughout the season. Keep checking back for Toby's take on the LMU men's soccer team.