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Men's Soccer Heads to San Francisco for Lone Game

Oct. 16, 2006

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This Week In Men's Soccer: The Saint Mary's men's soccer team (4-6-5, 2-3-2 WCC) will head to the city to play No. 15-ranked San Francisco (9-3-1, 4-2-0 WCC) on Sunday, October 22 at 7 p.m. from Negoesco Stadium. The match will be the only contest of the week for the Gaels.

Last Week Recap: The Gaels had to play No. 17-ranked Santa Clara in back-to-back games last weekend. On Friday, Saint Mary's played Santa Clara to a 0-0 double-overtime draw in Buck Shaw Stadium. On Sunday the Gaels fell 2-1 in overtime. Matthew Fitzgerald scored the lone goal for SMC in the 30th minute on a cross from Erik Robert.

Scouting San Francisco: The Gaels head to San Francisco where the Dons hold a No.15 national ranking and a current second place seat in the West Coast Conference with 12 points. The Dons did not partake in any games last week. The Dons' two previous games came by the way of a 1-0 win against LMU and a 2-1 victory versus San Diego. Overall San Francisco has tallied 19 goals and allowed 11.

Offensively USF is led by Aaron Chandler and Ardalan Attar. Chandler has tallied 10 points on four goals and two assists while Attar follows with seven points on three goals and one assist. In between the pipes, Geremy Uhl has posted all nine wins and sports five shutouts. Uhl has made 43 saves and showcases a 0.83 goals against average.

Versus San Francisco: The Gaels took down the Dons in the WCC and Saint Mary's Stadium opener in a thrilling 1-0 victory. Alex Christlieb tallied the game-winner in the 21st minute. The last time the Gaels took a victory over the Dons in San Francisco was in 1990 with a 3-1 win. Overall USF leads the series 23-6-2.

Gaels Don't Back Down From Ranked Opponents: The Gaels have played ranked WCC opponents tough this season, posting a 2-1-1 record. Saint Mary's downed two ranked WCC opponents in back-to-back games. The Gaels started conference play with a 1-0 victory over then No. 11 San Francisco. The very next game the Gaels defeated the No. 10 Toreros 4-2. It marks the first time in school history that SMC has beaten two ranked opponents in a row. In Santa Clara the Gaels came away with a 0-0 draw against the No. 17 Broncos.

WCC Leaders: In all games played Saint Mary's is currently second in saves with 53 and corners with 68. Carlos Diaz leads the conference in shots and shots per game with 46 and 3.07 respectively. Freshman Dylan Leslie is tied for sixth in goals with four while Diaz and Matthew Fitzgerald are knotted at ninth with three assists apiece. Brian Mason is tied for second in saves per game with 3.50 and fourth in saves with 42.

In conference games the Gaels are fourth in points with 24 and third in assists with eight. SMC has allowed a 1.48 GAA which is third in the WCC. SMC is tied for first with two shutouts and is third with 23 saves. The Gaels are second with 35 corners. Individually Leslie is fourth in points with six and points per game with 0.68. He is also second in goals with three and goals per game with 0.43. Fellow freshman Mark Araujo is second in assists with two and fourth in assists per game with 0.29. Mason is third in saves with 21 and saves per game with 3.50. He leads the WCC with two shutouts and a 0.33 shutouts per game and third in GAA at a 1.08 clip.

Back-to-Back Players of the Week: Dylan Leslie was named WCC Player of the Week and senior defender Alex Christlieb nabbed the honor the previous week. Leslie was honored after tallying a hat-trick against No. 10 San Diego while Christlieb recorded the game-winner against No. 11 San Francisco.

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 continue WCC action on the road when they travel south to face LMU and San Diego. SMC will face off with LMU on Friday, October 27 at 3 p.m. and then play USD on Sunday, October 29 at 2:30 p.m.