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Men's Soccer Heads to Sin City For UNLV Rebel Classic

Sept. 12, 2006

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This Week In Men's Soccer: The Saint Mary's men's soccer team (2-2-2) will head to Las Vegas and wrap up its non-conference slate with two games in the UNLV Rebel Classic. SMC will open classic play against host UNLV (0-4-1) on Friday, September 15 at 7 p.m. The Gaels will then play the UC Irvine Anteaters (3-1-1) on Sunday, September 17 at noon, both games will be played at Peter Johann Field.

Last Week Recap: After scoring three goals in its first four games, Saint Mary's stepped on the throttle and recorded five goals in two games this past weekend. SMC opened the Fall Soccer Classic with a 1-1 double-overtime draw against Bowling Green. Two days later, the Gaels erupted for four goals including three in the second half to run away from UC Riverside 4-2. Five different Gaels tallied goals this weekend including a career first for freshman midfielder Dylan Leslie.

UNLV Rebel Classic: Four games will be played this weekend in Las Vegas. On Friday, UC Irvine and the University of Maryland Baltimore County will start the festivities with a 4:30 p.m. contest. The Gaels will then square off against the Rebels in the featured game at 7 p.m. On Sunday, SMC and UC Irvine will play at noon followed by UNLV and UMBC at 2:30 p.m.

Scouting UNLV: The Rebels enter Friday's contest with a 0-4-1 record and are victims of their last two. UNLV is coming off a 4-2 loss to San Diego State and a 3-0 loss to Oregon State. The Rebels only point on the season came in a 2-2 draw against Temple. UNLV has been out-shot by its opponents 76-38 and have been outscored 15-6.

Offensively the Rebels are led by Nicholas Paterson. Paterson has had his hand in all six of the Rebels' six goals by scoring twice and handing out four assists. Four other Rebels have tallied a goal a piece. In net, Brett Hafeman has played the majority of the minutes. In four games, Hafeman has allowed 11 goals for a 2.61 goals against average and has tallied 20 saves. Calvin Bailey has appeared in a game and has allowed four goals and made four saves.

Versus UNLV: The two teams have met eight times with UNLV holding a 7-1 advantage. The last time the two teams met was in 2002 with the Gaels taking a 2-1 home victory.

Scouting UC Irvine: After a successful weekend for UCI, the Anteaters received votes in the College Soccer News Top 30 National Poll. The Anteaters won the LIU Soccer Classic defeating Long Island 4-0 and then tying No. 12 Fordham 2-2 in double overtime. Anthony Hamilton was named the Tournament MVP after scoring two goals and an assist. Brandon Tario, Sergio Rivera, Cameron Dunn and Brad Evans were each named to the All-Tournament team. Tario, Matt Murphy, Craig Ettinger and Joel Baker all scored goals in the tournament. Goalkeeper Kenny Schoeni earned his second shutout of the season against Long Island.

Matt Murphy leads the team with nine points on the year. Anthony Hamilton is right behind with eight points. Craig Ettinger and Brandon Tario are tied for third with five points each. Goalkeeper Kenny Schoeni has two shutouts on the year and a 0.95 goals against average.

Versus UC Irvine: The two programs have met six times with SMC holding a 4-1-1 advantage. The last time the two teams met, they played to a 0-0 double-overtime draw in 2001.

Five Different Gaels Tally Goals: In two games this past weekend the Gaels scored five goals with all five coming from a different player. Against Bowling Green, sophomore forward Carlos Diaz struck from 40-yards out on a free kick to give the Napa native three on the year. All four goals against UC Riverside notched season firsts for four Gaels. David Blanchard, Guillermo Trujillo, Alex Christlieb and Dylan Leslie each found the back of the net for season firsts. Leslie notched his first career goal on a penalty kick with two minutes left in the game.

WCC Leaders: Junior goalkeeper Brian Mason sits atop the conference with 21 saves. Mason is fourth in the WCC with 3.50 saves per game. Sophomore forward Carlos Diaz currently sits in second in the WCC in points with seven and goals with three. Diaz has already bettered his goal total from last season by finding the net for his third goal on the year against Bowling Green. Diaz is fifth in the conference in points per game with 1.17 and goals per game 0.50.

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 return home and begin their West Coast Conference slate with a single game. Saint Mary's will host defending WCC champion San Francisco on Friday, September 22 at 4 p.m. from Saint Mary's Stadium.