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Men's Soccer To Take On #5 Santa Clara on Sunday

Oct. 10, 2007

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This Week In Men's Soccer:
The Saint Mary's men's soccer team (4-3-1) will play just one game this week, a home West Coast Conference match against the No. 5-ranked Santa Clara Broncos. The game between SMC and Santa Clara will be played at Saint Mary's Stadium on the Moraga campus. Kick-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 14.

Last Week Recap:
Saint Mary's opened West Coast Conference play with games against Gonzaga and Portland last week. The Gaels posted a 0-1-1 record to open conference play, falling to Gonzaga (1-0) and tying Portland (0-0)

On Friday, Gonzaga scored the game's only goal in the 60th minute. GU's Grant Lundberg's soft shot from the right of the goal trickled across the goalline. SMC goalkeeper Brian Mason vacated the line when Tim Muravez hit a cross from the left sideline. Saint Mary's outshot the Bulldogs 10-6 in the game.

On Sunday, Saint Mary's and Portland played to a 0-0 draw for SMC's first point of conference play. Portland outshot the Gaels 9-6. SMC goalkeeper Keenan Flynn made three saves to keep the Pilots off the scoreboard.

Who's Hot:
Sophomore goalkeeper Keenan Flynn earns this week's hot player. Flynn made his second start of the season on Sunday, and held the Pilots scoreless in a double overtime game. After not having to make a save in the first half, Flynn made three big saves in the second half to keep Portland off the scoreboard.

In his two starts this season, Flynn has a 1-0-1 record with one shutout. In his only other start of the year, he helped SMC post a 2-1 win over Sacramento State. Flynn has a 0.45 goals against average this season, allowing one goal in 200 minutes. He's also made seven saves against 22 total shots.

Scouting the Santa Clara Broncos:
Following conference wins over Loyola Marymount (1-0) and San Diego (2-0) last week, the Santa Clara Broncos moved up one spot to a No. 5 national ranking in the NSCAA Coaches Poll. The Broncos are the only team in the WCC without a loss or tie, and is currently in first place in the conference standings with a 2-0-0 record. Overall, the Broncos have a 7-1-2 record and are riding a four-game winning streak. Santa Clara will play at San Francisco on Friday before making the trip to Moraga on Sunday.

Santa Clara has outscored its opponents 17-6 through 10 games this season, and is averaging 1.63 goals per game. SCU is holding opponents to a 0.57 goals against average, and the Broncos have outshot their opponents 156-84.

Santa Clara is led by both Peter Lowry and Jibe Ogunbiyi, as each have 10 points on the year. Lowry leads the team with five goals, which also ranks first in the WCC. Ogunbiyi is second on the team and the conference with four goals, and has added two assists. Jamil Roberts and Kellan Wantulok are tied for the WCC lead in assists with four. Kevin Klasila and Joseph Buttitta have split time in goal, and both have a GAA under 1.0. Klasila has allowed just one goal in six appearances and has a 0.19 goals against average. Buttitta has given up five goals in 465 minutes and has a 0.97 goals against average with 14 saves.

Versus The Broncos:
Sunday will mark the 33rd meeting between the two schools. Santa Clara has controlled the series, winning 28 of the previous 32 games. The Broncos, whom have won eight of the last 10 games, holds a 28-1-3 record against the Gaels. Saint Mary's played SCU to a 0-0 tie in the first meeting last season, before falling to SCU 2-1 at home, later that season.

WCC Leaders:
Saint Mary's junior Justin Kim is tied for first in the West Coast Conference with four assists. Kim added to his total with an assist on Bryan Vandoornick's goal in SMC's win over San Jose State. Senior David Blanchard, who leads the WCC in game-winning goals with two, is fifth in goals (3), seventh in points (6) and eighth in points per game (1.0). Bryan Vandoornick is seventh in goals (2), ninth in points per game (0.83) and ninth in points (5). Erik Robert and Dylan Leslie are tied for eighth in assists with two, and freshman Erik Rivas and Kim are ninth in the conference in shots (17) and eighth in shots per game (2.12).

Record Watch:
Senior goalkeeper Brian Mason continues to climb up the SMC record books. In three years in net, Mason has put together quite the resume. Mason ranks 1st all-time with a 1.25 career goals against average, and this season added two shutouts, to bring his school record to 15.5 on his career. With his 90 minutes of action against Gonzaga on Oct. 5, Mason moved into first all-time with 5,553 minutes played in goal. Randell Smith (1983-86) held the minutes played mark of 5,530 minutes played for over 20 years. Mason ranks fourth all-time with 259 career saves, 11 behind Steve Reardon (1995-99), who ranks third all-time. The senior also sits second all-time with 60 matches played and is third with 20 wins in net. Smith ranks first with 67 matches played and Kellen Wilson (1999-01, 03) holds the mark with 22 wins.

Head Coach Adam Cooper:
In his second season at the helm of the Saint Mary's men's soccer program, Adam Cooper led the Gaels to new achievements. For the first time in school history the Gaels downed ranked opponents in back-to-back games. To start the 2006 conference season, SMC defeated No. 11 USF 1-0 and No. 10 USD 4-2.

Under the direction of Cooper, Desmond Brooks was selected second overall in the Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft by Chivas USA. Brooks became the first men's soccer player at SMC to be drafted by the MLS. Matt Fitzgerald was selected by the California Victory in the 2007 USL First Division College Player Draft.

Cooper was named the head coach for of the U.S. Maccabi junior boy's squad. Cooper will head a team of 14 and 15 year olds for the Maccabi Pan-American games in Argentina.

Next Week:
Saint Mary's will continue West Coast Conference action with two road games next week. The Gaels will travel to Southern California for games against San Diego and Loyola Marymount. SMC will open the week at San Diego on Friday, October 19, with kick-off scheduled for 7 p.m. at Torero Stadium. The Gaels will then bus up to Los Angeles to take on the LMU Lions on Sunday in a 2 p.m. game from Sullivan Field on the LMU campus.