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Lions To Face #25 Gonzaga, Portland

Oct. 9, 2007

This week
LMU (2-5-1, 0-1-0) at #25 Gonzaga (7-2-1, 2-0-1)Friday, October 12 • 1:00 p.m.Martin Field • Spokane, WA

LMU (2-5-1, 0-1-0) at Portland (4-3-3, 1-0-2)Sunday, October 14 • 2:15 p.m.Merlo Field • Portland, OR

Briefly
LMU takes to the road for the first time in West Coast Conference play this week, heading north to take on #25 Gonzaga and Portland. The Lions, who have played five of their first seven matches against ranked opponents, face another top-25 team in the form of the league-leading Bulldogs before taking on the third-place Pilots.

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 Gonzaga (7-2-1, 2-0-1) • National Rankings: #25 (NSCAA), #27 (College Soccer News)
Gonzaga is undefeated in its last six and has won two in a row following victories last week over Saint Mary's and San Francisco. At SMC on Friday, Grant Lundberg's 60th minute goal held up in a 1-0 win. Vito Higgins posted his third shutout of the season. The fourth shutout would follow two days later in a 2-0 victory at USF. Bryan Mullaney gave the Zags the lead in the 35th minute and Tye Perdido picked up an insurance goal 15 minutes from time. Gonzaga has not played a home game since September 7 but has five of its next six at home, starting Friday against the Lions.Head Coach Einar Thorarinsson is in his 13th season in Spokane, compiling a record of 108-97-17. He has a 22-year career head coaching record of 231-148-30. Last season, the Zags went 9-8-2 overall and 6-5-1 in the WCC to finish third. They return 19 letterwinners and 10 starters.Although Gonzaga leads the all-time series against the Lions 10-7-1, LMU has had success recently, winning three of the last four and six of the last eight. LMU swept the season series in 2006, winning 1-0 at home and 4-1 in Spokane, posting its highest-scoring output of the season in that October 22 meeting up north. LMU is 4-5-0 when playing at Gonzaga, including wins in three of the last four trips.

About Portland (4-3-3, 1-0-2)
Portland has not lost in its last four after playing Saint Mary's to a goalless tie in Morage on Sunday. Austin Guerrero recorded his third clean sheet of the year and second in a row. On Friday, at San Francisco, Frankie Lopez scored the game's only goal just after halftime in a 1-0 win.Bil Irwin has a record of 40-39-11 in four-plus seasons at Portland. The Pilots went 8-8-3 in 2006, playing sixth in the WCC at 4-7-1. They return 23 letterwinners and nine starters.Portland is 15-5-2 all-time against LMU, including victories in three of the last four matches. Each of the last five meetings has come down to a single goal, with four being decided by a 1-0 scoreline. UP swept both matches last year, winning 1-0 in Los Angeles and 2-1 at Portland.

Last Week Recap
Looking for its third upset of a ranked opponent this season, LMU fell 1-0 to defending West Coast Conference champion and fourth-ranked Santa Clara in the teams' conference opener Friday afternoon at Sullivan Field. Jamil Roberts scored the game's only goal in the 35th minute while both teams were reduced to 10 men in the second half.Blustery conditions at Sullivan Field took both teams out of their game plans as winds of over 25 miles per hour gusted for the full 90 minutes. Santa Clara's goal would come from a free kick and a scramble in the box. After an LMU foul on the right side near the touchline, the ball was served into the box and Jide Ogunbiyi got his head to it. Redshirt freshman GK Patrick Lane sprawled to save, pawing the ball off the goalline. A scramble ensued and Roberts got to it first for what would prove to be the game-winner.Soon after halftime, LMU would be handed a man advantage with the dismissal of Santa Clara's Aaron Clubb after a tussle in the penalty area away from the ball. The Lions looked to take advantage for the final 37 minutes but Santa Clara retreated most of its players behind the ball to thwart any Lion attack. LMU sophomore Alex Proano was issued a red card in the 85th minute to put both teams back on level terms. The game featured five yellow cards and the two reds.

Kennedy Makes TV Debut
Congratulations to LMU Undergraduate Assistant Coach and "Voice of the Lions" Toby Kennedy, who made his television broadcasting debut last Wednesday. Kennedy provided color commentary for Fox Soccer Channel's telecast of the UC Santa Barbara-UC Irvine match. Continue tuning in to Toby's coverage of the Lions all season long on Lions All-Access.

Rankings Mean Little to Lions
LMU has faced ranked opponents in five of its first seven matches, turning in a 2-3 record. The 3-2 win over #7 Harvard was its second of the year and gave the program 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.

Score Prediction? My Money's on 1-0
Five of the Lions' first seven games have finished with a 1-0 scoreline, with LMU winding up on the wrong side of that score in the last four 1-0 contests. The three most recent 1-0 defeats have come against ranked opponents. Last season, LMU played six matches that ended 1-0, posting a 2-4 mark.

Uh, Guys? Some Goals Please?
Entering this season, LMU had been shut out in back-to-back matches only four times in Paul Krumpe's nine-year tenure as head coach. Already this season, the Lions have failed to score in consecutive games on two separate occasions, including three in a row in September, which markeed the first time that had happened since 1994.

Road Trip Might Be What the Doctor Ordered
If there is going to ever be a time for the Lions to get hot and turn things around, this would be it. Last year, they went 3-2-1 away from home during WCC play, winning at least one game on each of the three road trips. Should they have a successful excursion to Gonzaga and Portland, they return home for three of the next four games against the three teams joining them in the lower half of the conference table. With 12 games remaining on the schedule, there's more than enough time for LMU to turn things around.

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. Although Lane is 2-4-1 this season with a pair of shutouts in seven matches, he has done an outstanding job of keeping the Lions in tight matches against ranked opponents. His two victories have come over ranked foes (#7 Harvard and #17 New Mexico) and he has been named to two all-tournament teams (Nike/TLC Plumbing & Utility Invitational and LMU Invitational). Through seven games, Lane has a 0.97 goals-against-average and has made 26 saves in 651:59 minutes. He ranks fourth in the WCC in saves and sixth in GAA.

Stisser Strikes
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 24 shots and is second in the WCC in shots per game at 3.00.

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 eight matches and is showing signs of adapting to collegiate soccer. He was outstanding in the LMU Invitational, earning two assists in the win over #7 Harvard. The assists showed off his all-around game as he penetrated the Crimson defense and displayed maturity to find an open teammate on the first goal, then leaped high to flick-on a free kick for the second. Baca is tenth in the WCC in assists.

Sloustcher Taking Charge at the Back
One of the reasons for the success of the LMU defense is the play of senior captain Adam Sloustcher. After missing the opening game of the year, Sloustcher has started all seven matches and has been a rock in central defense.

Gomez Selected as Candidate for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
Senior Trini Gomez has been chosen as one of 20 candidates nation-wide for the 2007 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. 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.