Oct. 23, 2006
This Week In Men's Soccer: The Saint Mary's men's soccer team (4-7-5, 2-4-2 WCC) will head south for two conference games. The Gaels will stop in Los Angeles to face the Loyola Marymount Lions (8-6-2, 4-3-2 WCC) on Friday, October 27 at 3 p.m. from Sullivan Field. SMC will then continue south to San Diego (9-5-1, 4-4-1 WCC) to play the USD Toreros on Sunday, October 30 at 2:30 PM from Torero Stadium.
Last Week Recap: The Gaels faced Bay Area rival No. 12 San Francisco in the city and fell by the score of 1-0. The Dons recorded an early goal in the 12th minute to edge SMC. The Gaels were paced by the five shots of freshman midfielder Dylan Leslie.
Scouting Loyola Marymount: The Lions are coming off a split on their Pacific Northwest road trip. LMU fell in the opener to Portland by the score of 2-1. Against Gonzaga, LMU opened the floodgates by pouring in four goals in a 4-1 rout. As a team the Lions have out-scored their opposition 21-17 and hold a 1.03 to 1.27 advantage in goals against average.
Offensively LMU is led by Bobby Burling. Burling has compiled 11 points on four goals and three assists. Brad Stisser follows with four goals for eight points. Nick Blanco leads the team with four assists. In between the pipes, Robert Flores posts a 6-6-2 record with a 1.03 GAA and 49 saves. In 14 games played, Flores has tallied two shut outs.
Versus the Lions: The two teams met on October 1 in Moraga where they played to a 1-1 draw. The last time SMC took a road victory in Los Angeles was when it beat No. 14 LMU 2-1 in overtime in 2003. The Gaels hold a 13-8-2 advantage in the all-time series.
Scouting San Diego: The Toreros are coming off a 2-0 weekend where they defeated Gonzaga 2-1 and Portland 3-2. USD remains the highest scoring offense in Division I with 2.73 goals per game. The Toreros have tallied 41 goals while holding their opponents to 18 on the season.
Offensively USD is led by Michael Caso's 20 points. Caso has tallied seven goals and handed out six assists. Ryan Guy follows with 18 points on seven goals and four assists. Four other Toreros have handed out four assists while three others are in double digits in points. In net, Lance Friesz is 8-2-1 with a 1.35 GAA and three shutouts. Friesz has added 26 saves in 1070 minutes played.
Versus the Toreros: The last time the two teams met, the Gaels ran away from the then ranked No. 10 Toreros 4-2 from Saint Mary's Stadium. Overall the all-time series sits at 18-6-3 in the Toreros favor. SMC defeated USD 2-1 in San Diego last season.
WCC Leaders: In all games played Saint Mary's is currently second in saves with 55 and corners with 75. Carlos Diaz leads the conference in shots with 47 and is fourth in shots per game with 2.94. Freshman Dylan Leslie is tied for sixth in goals with four. Brian Mason is third in saves per game with 3.38 and fifth in saves with 44.
In conference games, individually Leslie is seventh in points with six and eighth in points per game with 0.75. He is also fifth in goals with three and sixth in goals per game with 0.38. Fellow freshman Mark Araujo is sixth in assists with two and seventh in assists per game with 0.25. Mason is fifth in saves with 23 and third in saves per game with 3.29. He is second in the WCC with two shutouts and a 0.29 shutouts per game and fourth in GAA at a 1.07 clip.
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 conclude WCC action when they return home to face Gonzaga and Portland. SMC will face Gonzaga on Friday, November 3 and then face Portland on Senior Day, Sunday, November 5. Both games are slated for 2 p.m. from Saint Mary's Stadium.