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Lions Look to Get First WCC Win

Oct. 16, 2007

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This week
LMU (2-7-1, 0-3-0) vs. San Francisco (4-5-0, 0-2-0)Friday, October 19 • 4:00 p.m.Sullivan Field

LMU (2-7-1, 0-3-0) vs. Saint Mary's (4-3-1, 0-1-1)Sunday, October 21 • 2:00 p.m.Sullivan Field

Briefly
Looking for its first West Coast Conference victory of the 2007 season, LMU returns to Sullivan Field for a pair of matches this week, both against squads who are also searching for their first WCC wins. The Lions look to snap their three-match losing streak on Friday at 4 p.m. against San Francisco, then host Saint Mary's on Sunday at 2 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 San Francisco (4-6-0, 0-3-0)
San Francisco has lost five in a row after winning four in a row. USF dropped its lone match last week, 2-1 at Santa Clara. Conor Chinn handed USF a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute but Santa Clara equalized three minutes later and scored the game-winner with a mere two seconds remaining. Chinn leads the Dons with five goals and 11 points.Head Coach Erik Visser is in his seventh season at USF, compiling a record of 67-52-8. Last season, the Dons went 12-7-1 overall and 7-5-0 in the WCC to finish second. They return 12 letterwinners and eight starters.San Francisco has won 20 of the 24 meetings with LMU, with one tie. The Dons are on a five-match winning streak, including three in a row at Sullivan Field, but each of the last eight meetings has been decided by a single goal with four going into overtime. Last year, USF won 1-0 at LMU and 2-1 in double overtime in San Francisco.

About Saint Mary's (4-4-1, 0-2-1)
Saint Mary's is winless in its last three, going 0-2-1. On Sunday, the Gaels suffered a 2-0 loss at home to Santa Clara. Although both teams took 10 shots, the Broncos capitalized on goals in the sixth and 33rd minutes for the win. SMC plays at San Diego on Friday. David Blanchard leads the Gaels with three goals and six points while Bryan VanDoorninck has two goals.Now in is second season at Saint Mary's, head coach Adam Cooper has gone 8-14-7. This year's team has already equaled last season's win total, when they went 4-10-6 overall and 2-7-3 in WCC play to place seventh. Ten letterwinners and six starters return.The all-time series between the Lions and Gaels is quite close, with SMC holding a slight 13-10-2 advantage. Recently, however, LMU has had success, going 7-2-2 since 1999. Last year, the teams tied 1-1 in Moraga and LMU won 2-1 in double overtime at home. The Lions are 7-4 against the Gaels when playing in Los Angeles.

Last Week Recap
LMU's excursion to the Great Northwest did not go quite according to plan, as the team dropped contests at #23 Gonzaga and Portland. On Friday at Gonzaga, the Lions were facing their second consecutive ranked opponent and sixth top-25 foe in their last eight games. After the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead, freshman Rafael Baca connected off a feed from sophomore Wilkie Johnson for his first career goal to equalize in the 35th minute. The Bulldogs, who held a 22-4 shot advantage, pulled away in the second half with goals in the 60th and 72nd minutes for a 3-1 victory.Sunday's match was about as frantic as can be imagined as the Lions twice held leads, only to see Portland score four times in a 16-minute span of the second half for a 5-2 victory. Johnson returned the favor from Baca for the goal two days earlier, scoring his first goal of the season to give LMU a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute. The Pilots equalized through Bryan Irwin seven minutes later and gained another advantage in the 27th minute when LMU senior Nick Blanco was sent-off. The Lions battled to a tie for the remainder of the half and took their second lead of the match 11 minutes into the second frame through senior Stephen Carlson. After a pass from sophomore Blayze Hanson, Carlson finished from eight yards out for his first career goal. Despite the lead, LMU could not overcome playiing a man down and Portland took advantage with Irwin grabbing his second and Ryan Luke adding a pair to pull away.

Long Road of Ranked Opponents Draws to an End
LMU will find itself in an unfamiliar position this week as it does not have a ranked opponent on its schedule for the first time. After facing unranked Portland last Sunday, San Francisco's visit this Friday will mark the first time all season that the Lions will play unranked opponents in back-to-back matches. They played top-25 foes in six of the season's first nine contests, going 2-4-0 with wins at #17 New Mexico and at home over #7 Harvard. LMU also suffered narrow 1-0 losses to #4 Santa Clara, #16 Creighton, and #24 Saint Louis.

Score Prediction? My Money's on 1-0
Five of the Lions' first seven games 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.

Be Careful What You Wish For
After being shut out in consecutive games for the second time this season, this release made an appeal for the Lions to score more goals on its road trip. That request was granted to the tune of three goals, including multiple strikes in a game for just the second time this season. The Lions also found the net in back-to-back matches for the first time in 2007. That being said, the normally rock-solid LMU defense had its troubles and now fans are looking for the complete package of strong offensive efforts coupled with a steady defensive performance.

Home Stand Allows Time to Regroup
Mired in the midst of their second three-game losing streak of the season, LMU returns to Sullivan Field for three of its next four matches and will face the three teams joining them at the bottom of the WCC table. The Lion offense has finally started to come around, as they scored three goals in the last two matches after scoring four in the first eight matches. With 10 games remaining on the schedule, there's more than enough time for LMU to turn things around.

A Game of Two Halves
It may be one of the biggest clichés in soccer but in the case of the 2007 Lions, it is profound. LMU has actually outscored opponents 4-3 in the first half this season and has only trailed at halftime twice. Unfortunately, it is in the second 45 minutes where things unravel, as opponents have scored 12 goals to LMU's three. The Lions are 2-0-0 when leading at the half but 0-5-1 when the score is tied after 45 minutes.

Baca Rises to the Top
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. A starter in all 10 games thus far, Baca displayed his skills in the early going but had nothing to show for it. After a pair of assists in the upset win over #7 Harvard that earned him all-tournament honors, Baca finally found the net himself at #23 Gonzaga, scoring his first collegiate goal to tie the game at 1-1. He went on to supply his third assist of the season against Portland, putting him atop the LMU points list with five while his three assists leads the team and is tied for sixth in the WCC.

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 2-5-1 this season with a pair of shutouts in eight 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 eight games, Lane has a 1.21 goals-against-average and has made 32 saves in 761:59 minutes. He is tied for fourth in the WCC in saves and seventh in GAA.

Johnson Gives Baca a Strike Partner
With the LMU offense sputtering, Head Coach Paul Krumpe has tried a number of different players up front in an effort to jump-start the attack. The latest incarnation is sophomore Wilkie Johnson, who made five starts in defense as a freshman but was slotted up front at Gonzaga and Portland to partner Baca. Johnson and Baca instantly worked well together as Johnson supplied Baca with the pass for the freshman's first career goal at Gonzaga and Baca returned the favor for Johnson to score his first of the season and second of his career at Portland. In just 183 minutes of play in 2007, Johnson is second on the team with a goal, assist, and three points.

Stisser Strikes
Junior Brad Stisser is second on the team with a goal and an assist for three points while starting all 10 matches. He 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 leads the 2007 Lions with 26 shots and is third in the WCC in shots per game at 2.60. Stisser has five goals on the Bluff since transferring in from Coastal Carolina in 2006, the most in that time frame among active Lions. Three of his five goals have been game-winners.

Carlson Gets on Scoresheet
Four years after stepping on campus as a freshman from Hawai'i, Stephen Carlson has finally put his name on the scoresheet with his first career goal at Portland. The redshirt junior defender gave LMU a 2-1 lead against the Pilots when he fired home from eight yards out in the 55th minute. Carlson has been a bright spot this season, appearing in all 10 matches, including two starts.

Sampson Debuts
He redshirted his first season and then did not see the field last year so Patrick Sampson's start in goal at Portland marked his first appearance in a Lion uniform after almost 2 1/2 years. Playing near his hometown of Lake Oswego, Sampson would not go unnoticed in his debut, as he had many family members and friends turn out for his big day.