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Lions Return Home for LMU Invitational

Sept. 18, 2007

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This Week
LMU Invitational (Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, CA)
Friday, September 21
LMU (1-4-0) vs. #7 Harvard (6-0-0)
Sullivan Field • 4:00 p.m.
#14 UC Santa Barbara (2-2-1) vs. Columbia (0-4-0)
Harder Stadium, Santa Barbara, CA • 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, September 23
#14 UC Santa Barbara (2-2-1) vs. #7 Harvard (6-0-0)
Sullivan Field • 1:30 p.m.
LMU (1-4-0) vs. Columbia (0-4-0)
Sullivan Field • 4:00 p.m.

The long and draining early season tournament schedule comes to a close this week as LMU co-hosts the LMU Invitational, featuring a match-up of California schools against Ivy League opponents. On Friday, the Lions welcome seventh-ranked Harvard to Sullivan Field while #14 UC Santa Barbara hosts Columbia. All four teams are in action at Sullivan on Sunday as the day kicks off with UCSB-Harvard at 1:30 p.m., followed by LMU-Columbia at 4 p.m.

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. 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 the LMU Invitational
This is the first year of this non-traditional tournament in which the first day's play is split between the two hosts and the final day is held at LMU. Three points will be awarded to the winner of each game and one point for a tie. At the end of Sunday's play, the team with the most points will be crowned tournament champion. In the event that two teams are tied for the most points, tie-breakers will be used in the order of head-to-head result, goal differential, fewest goals allowed, and most goals scored. If there is still a tie, co-champions will be named. At the conclusion of the weekend, an 11-player all-tournament team will be selected.

LMU at its Home Tournaments
The Lions held four consecutive "LMU Fall Classic" tournaments from 2000-2003, attracting some of the nation's top teams, including San Diego State, UC Irvine, Harvard, California, Southern Methodist, and Creighton. During these four years, the Lions went 4-2-1.

About UC Santa Barbara (2-2-1) • Rankings: #14 (College Soccer News), #18 (Soccertimes), #20 (NSCAA)
The defending NCAA champions, UC Santa Barbara opened the 2007 schedule ranked atop the national polls. They tied Stanford 2-2 in their opener and lost to Gonzaga 1-0 before going on a two-game winning streak with victories over Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Southern Methodist. The Gauchos dropped their second game of the season on Sunday at #28 New Mexico, 2-1. Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg is in his ninth season at UCSB, putting together a record of 119-47-12.

About Harvard (6-0-0) • Rankings: #7 (College Soccer News), #9 (NSCAA), #10 (Soccertimes)
Harvard has won all six of its matches to start 2007, out-scoring opponents 12-5. Last week, the Crimson beat Vermont 2-0 and then registered a pair of 2-1 victories over Boston University and Massachusetts on the weekend. Andre Akpan had three goals and an assist on the week to be named the Ivy League Player of the Week.Head Coach John Kerr has a record of 75-53-11 in nine seasons at Harvard. Last year, the Crimson went 14-5-0, winning the Ivy League at 6-1-0, and advancing to the NCAA Second Round. They return 19 letterwinners and nine starters.LMU and Harvard have split their two meetings. The Lions won 3-1 at home in 2001. Last season, LMU traveled to Cambridge for Harvard's tournament, falling to the Crimson 1-0.

About Columbia (0-4-0)
Columbia is searching for its first victory of the season after dropping a 4-0 decision on Sunday at Northeastern. The Lions have been out-scored this season 12-1.Leo Chappel is in his second season as head coach at Columbia, with a record of 7-12-2. Last season, the Lions went 7-8-2, finishing eighth in the Ivy League at 0-5-2. They return 19 letterwinners and eight starters.LMU and Columbia have never played each other.

Last Week Recap
LMU's misfortunes continued last week as they dropped two heartbreakers to ranked teams at the Saint Louis/Nike Soccer Classic in St. Louis, MO. In the opener against the host and 24th-ranked Billikins, the Lions battled to a goalless draw for 88 tenacious minutes, only for SLU to grab the game-winner with 80 seconds remaining in regulation. Saturday's game against #16 Creighton went scoreless even longer but ended with the same result as the Bluejays scored two minutes into overtime for a 1-0 victory. Redshirt freshman GK Patrick Lane made a career-high six saves in the loss.Seniors Nick Blanco and Adam Sloustcher were both named to the All-Tournament team.

Rankings Mean Nothing
One would think that playing a top-25 opponent on their home field would be an arduous task but it is actually one that LMU has come to embrace over the past few years. The 1-0 upset at #17 New Mexico was the Lions' 13th over a ranked opponent since 2003. Even more incredible is that LMU has won four of its last six against ranked opponents when playing on the other team's turf.

It's Tourney Time
Although the ultimate goal is to be playing in that big tournament at the end of the season, LMU is getting its fair share of warm-ups with three tournaments in the month of September. And it's not like the Lions are playing any push-overs in these tournaments. LMU is currently on a stretch of eight games in which it will face six teams that are currently in the national rankings. In addition, five of those teams made the NCAA tournament last year.Since Paul Krumpe took over as head coach in 1998, LMU is 21-22-5 in regular season tournaments.

Stisser Strikes Gold
After tying for the team lead with four goals last season, junior midfielder/forward Brad Stisser is out to show that he can do so again. Stisser had the game-winning goal on a free kick to lift the Lions to a 1-0 upset win at #17 New Mexico and, to date, has netted LMU's lone goal of the year. For his efforts, he earned All-Tournament honors in New Mexico.Stisser has five goals on the Bluff since transferring in from Coastal Carolina in 2006, the most in that time frame among active Lions. He also has shown a knack for producing in crunch time, with three of his five goals as game-winners.Stisser leads the 2007 Lions with 12 shots, tying for fifth in the WCC. He has put seven on goal.

Lane Makes a Statement
A road game against a nationally-ranked opponent is a good place to claim your first career shutout, which is exactly what redshirt freshman goalkeeper Patrick Lane did, as he kept #17 New Mexico off the scoreboard. Lane, making just his second collegiate appearance, was outstanding against the Lobos, making a diving stop in the game's first six minutes to keep the scores level, and then tipping a last-minute attempt over the crossbar to maintain LMU's one goal advantage. He finished the contest with a then-career-high five saves.Lane followed up his performance with three saves against Central Florida, earning a place on the All-Tournament team at the Nike/TLC Plumbing and Utility Invitational.Last week in Saint Louis, Lane stood toe-to-toe with Creighton's Matt Allen, a goalkeeper on the preseason MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List. Each goalie made six saves, which for Lane would be a career-high, in CU's overtime victory.Through four games, Lane has a 0.99 goals-against-average and has made 17 saves in 361:59 minutes. He ranks second in the WCC in saves and third in GAA.

Welcome Back, Carlson
It is nice to see junior defender Stephen Carlson back on the field after redshirting 2006 with an injury. Carlson started and played the first 70 minutes against Cal Poly, then came off the bench for both games in New Mexico before starting again at Saint Louis.

Mehl Does Well
Senior forward Tyler Mehl provided LMU with a spark off the bench against Cal Poly, attempting a team-high three shots. That was enough to earn him the starting nod in three of the next four matches, giving him more starts as a senior than he had all of last season. Mehl, who has started only 11 of his 42 career matches, gives the Lions the hustle and experience needed up front whether he is in the starting lineup or comes off the bench.

Krumpe's Krew Getting Stronger
Head Coach Paul Krumpe must be encouraged as his squad gets closer to being at full-strength. After a rash of injuries during preseason training, Krumpe was without the services of senior defender and team captain Adam Sloustcher, sophomore defender Wilkie Johnson, redshirt freshman Andrew Morris, and freshman forward Sharif Khatib. All four made their season debuts in New Mexico, giving the Lions more depth across the board.

A Good Omen?
LMU might have dropped its season opener but that's not necessarily a bad sign. In the four years that the Lions made the NCAA Tournament, the team was an unconvincing 1-2-1 in the first game of the season. Both losses were also via shutout. Just goes to show that how you start doesn't have to be an indicator of how you'll finish.

Defense Stays Strong
Don't blame the Lion defenders for LMU's slow start. The team has given up three goals in the last four games and just an average of one goal a game all season. Sophomore Blayze Hanson has started all five games at the back, while senior Adam Sloustcher and juniors Jawaan Delaney and Garrett Maloney each have four starts, giving the Lions experience and depth in front of Lane in goal.