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Lions Take a Much Needed Break

Sept. 27, 2007

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This week
Alumni GameSaturday, September 29 • 10:00 a.m.Sullivan Field

Briefly
After an exhausting first month of the season that has seen LMU play four ranked opponents, three tournaments, bus to New Mexico, and fly to Saint Louis, the Lions gain a reprieve with a 12-day hiatus from competition. LMU does not play again until it hosts Santa Clara on October 5 in the West Coast Conference opener.

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.

Alumni Game Slated for Saturday
Calling all LMU men's soccer alumni! The Lions will be holding their annual alumni game this Saturday, September 29, at 10 a.m. at Sullivan Field. If you played soccer at LMU and still think you have what it takes, contact Michael Erush in the men's soccer office at (310) 338-5966. And if you're a fan who just wants to see some of your favorite former players, admission is free. Over 40 former Lions are expected to participate. There will be two matches: the over-30 alumni will play against each other, followed by the under-30 alums vs. the current LMU squad.

Last Week Recap
Returning home for the first time in almost three weeks, the Lions hosted the LMU Invitational, its first home tournament since 2003. The Lions, playing in their third successive tournament, welcomed being on home turf as they squared off against a pair of Ivy Leaguers in #7 Harvard and Columbia. Friday's opening match against Harvard was a classic affair, with fans braving the threat of a heavy rainstorm to see the Lions take on their fourth ranked opponent of the season. LMU rewarded those fans with the perfect start as junior Jawaan Delaney, making his first career start as a forward, side-volleyed home the game's first goal just five minutes in. The score remained 1-0 through halftime and LMU doubled its lead a mere 37 seconds into the second half. Freshman Rafael Baca had his close-range attempt saved but the ball rebounded to him and he fed redshirt freshman Josh Carroll. With the goalie out of position, Carroll slammed the ball past two defenders for his first career goal. Harvard pulled a goal back with half an hour to play but the Lions would not cave, answering right away to restore their two-goal cushion. Sophomore Blayze Hanson served a long free kick from the halfway line that was flicked on by Baca to sophomore Steffen Canty, who poked it past the goalie for a 3-1 lead. Although the Crimson would make it 3-2 with 12 minutes left, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Patrick Lane and the rest of the Lion defense kept them at bay for LMU's second win over a ranked team this season.On Sunday, LMU hosted the Columbia Lions knowing that a victory would give them the LMU Invitational title. UC Santa Barbara and Harvard had tied earlier in the day so an LMU loss or tie would hand the Gauchos the crown. LMU attacked from the out-set, raining down a season-high 21 shots on the Columbia goal, including 13 in the first half. With each Lion shot, the anticipation of the break-through goal grew but it never came as the teams drew 0-0.

Sloustcher, Lane, Baca Named All-Tournament
LMU finished second at the LMU Invitational thanks to the play of senior defender Adam Sloustcher, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Patrick Lane, and freshman forward Rafael Baca, all of whom were named to the All-Tournament team. Sloustcher was outstanding as the anchor of the LMU defense, shutting down the high-octane Harvard offense in LMU's upset win. He was his usual steady self against Columbia, as well, earning the tournament's Defensive co-Most Valuable Player honor.Lane continues to shine between the pipes, gaining the win against Harvard with six saves, tying his career-high. On Sunday, he registered his second career shutout against Columbia. At the other end of the field, Baca tormented opposing defenses with his ball control and passing. Against Harvard, he had two assists and probably should have had a goal himself.

LMU at its Home Tournaments
The Lions hosted the LMU Invitational last weekend, the first tournament held at LMU since 2003, when the Lions hosted the last of four consecutive "LMU Fall Classic" tournaments. With this season's 1-0-1 mark, the Lions have gone 5-2-2 in their home tourneys.Rankings Mean NothingThe 3-2 win over #7 Harvard gave LMU a 2-2 record against ranked foes in 2007 and has 14 wins over top-25 teams 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. With home-and-home games coming up against Santa Clara, Gonzaga, and San Francisco, all of which have been ranked this season, there will be ample opportunities for the Lions to claim more ranked pelts.

Lions End Tourney Stretch
The first month of the season is always an interesting time as teams try to adjust to new players and get their bearings after a few months off. Add in long road trips against powerhouse opponents and things get even more difficult. With that in mind, the month that LMU had must be considered a success. With 11 newcomers on the field and four matches against ranked opponents, there was little margin for error. Injuries have also been a factor, with seniors Adam Sloustcher and Nick Blanco and junior Jawaan Delaney all missing games. So, taking all that into consideration, LMU's September record of 2-4-1, including victories over #7 Harvard and #17 New Mexico and last-minute 1-0 losses to #16 Creighton and #24 Saint Louis, is something to be proud of. Now, with 12 days off to rest, recuperate, and re-strategize, the Lions will be set to explode once WCC play begins.LMU went 2-3-1 in tournaments in 2007. Since Paul Krumpe took over as head coach in 1998, the Lions are 22-22-6 in regular season tournaments.

Gomez Selected as Candidate for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
Senior Trini Gomez has been selected as one of 20 candidates nation-wide for the 2007 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Twenty players have been selected as candidates for the 2007 soccer awards, based on personal qualities that define a complete student athlete. While the on-the-field performance during their collegiate soccer careers is a factor in determining candidates and the eventual winner, their personal character and off-the-field achievements in the classroom and community are major areas of focus.Gomez, a biological sciences major, is a co-captain on the 2007 Lion squad. He transferred to LMU from UCLA as a sophomore and made an immediate impact, leading the Lions with six goals and earning honorable mention All-West Coast Conference honors. A native of Inglewood, Gomez was named a WCC Scholar-Athlete and has been on either the LMU Dean's or Director's List every semester. He has also been awarded the Mexican American Alumni Association Scholarship. This past summer, he shadowed doctors at the UCLA Harbor Hospital as he pursues his goal of going to medical school.From the list of 20 candidates in each sport, a national media committee will select 10 finalists in October. Those ten names will then be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote beginning October 16 and concluding November 21. Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches, media and sponsors to determine the recipient of the award. Winners will be announced during the NCAA Soccer Championships, scheduled on December 14-16 in Cary, NC.

Lane is the Main Man in Goal
The competition was fierce for the starting goalkeeper job during preseason training but redshirt freshman Patrick Lane has proven that he was the right man for the job. Lane is 2-3-1 this season with a pair of shutouts in six matches. He has victories over two ranked foes (#7 Harvard and #17 New Mexico) and has been named to two all-tournament teams (Nike/TLC Plumbing & Utility Invitational and LMU Invitational). Through six games, Lane has a 0.96 goals-against-average and has made 24 saves in 561:59 minutes. He ranks second in the WCC in saves and third in GAA.

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 supplied the assist on the first goal in the win over #7 Harvard. 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 22 shots, tying for fifth in the WCC. He has put eight on goal.

Josh Carroll, Offensive Juggernaut
Redshirt freshman Josh Carroll has been a welcome addition to the midfield corps as he provides a hard-nosed edge and tenacity for ball-winning. His blue-collar work ethic would never be confused with the finesse of a goal-scorer but that's exactly what happened against #7 Harvard as Carroll had a goal and an assist for his first collegiate points. He provided the build-up for the game's opening goal, then gave LMU a 2-0 lead just after halftime with his first career goal, threading a shot through the defense.Carroll's defense was rewarded back in New Mexico when he was named to the Nike/TLC Plumbing & Utility Invitational All-Tournament Team.

Baca on the Scene
It has taken him some time to appear in any of the scoring columns but freshman Rafael Baca has lived up to his billing as the South Bay Daily Breeze Regional Player of the Year. Baca has started all seven matches and is showing signs of adapting to collegiate soccer. He was outstanding in the LMU Invitational, teasing defenders by running at them with pace but also showing field vision and unselfishness by finding open teammates. It was this vision that earned him two assists in the win over #7 Harvard. He set up the Lions' second goal by penetrating the Crimson defense and firing a shot that was saved by the goalie. The ball came back to Baca with the goalie out of the net. It might have tempted any other player to take another whack to score himself but instead Baca showed the maturity to play the ball to Carroll, who had a better shooting angle and made it count. Baca got his second assist when he, at 5-8, out-jumped the taller Harvard defenders to flick on a free kick that was scored by sophomore Steffen Canty.