Nov. 9, 2006
The #19 LMU women's soccer team opens the NCAA Tournament against Cal State Fullerton at UCLA's Drake Stadium on Friday night at 8:00pm. The second round game is on Sunday at 1:00pm, and the winner of the LMU-CSUF game will take on the winner of the UCLA-UNLV contest. The Lions earned an at-large berth into the postseason after finishing the regular season with a 10-2-6 record, and going undefeated in their last five games. Gametracker will be available for the games at www.LMULions.com. The games will also be broadcast live and free on Lions All-Access.
WCC Announces Year-End Awards
Joslyn Slovek became just the second Lion and the third goalkeeper to earn WCC Defensive Player of the Year honors when the conference announced its yearly awards on Wednesday. The junior was also named to the All-WCC first team after an outstanding season. Senior defender Whitney Temple and junior forward Jamie Bell earned second team honors, and senior midfielder Tana Smothermon and freshman defender Kim Feeney picked up honorable mention nods. Tiffany Harrison joined Feeney on the WCC's All-Freshman team.
A Brief Season Recap
The 2006 season has been a successful one by all accounts as the Lions enter the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Some of the highlights this season include: a 1-0 win over #4 regional seed Oklahoma State... a 2-1 win over then-#16 USC... a 1-1 tie with #3 Santa Clara... a 0-0 tie with #5 Portland... a 2-1 win over Oregon (2nd place in Pac-10)... WCC road wins over Gonzaga and San Francisco. LMU lost just two games this season, and both by one goal. The Lions led the conference in goals against average after the regular season and allowed just three goals in seven WCC contests. Jamie Bell has been outstanding this season with seven goals and two assists. Whitney Temple was named the WCC Player of the Week and has been named to a national team of the week in two different weeks. Joslyn Slovek, the WCC Player of the Week in the final week of the regular season, has the lowest GAA in the WCC and was named to the Soccer Buzz Team of the Week twice, and Tana Smothermon was named to the Soccer Buzz Team of the Week after scoring the game-winner with less than a minute remaining at San Francisco.
The Regional Field
Cal State Fullerton
The Titans qualified for the NCAA Tournament after winning the Big West Championship on Sunday. CSF defeated Cal Poly, 2-1, in the tournament championship, getting two goals from Kristen Boujos. Brianna Buffington leads the team in scoring this season with seven goals, and Boujos has added four goals and one assist. Karen Bardsley has a 0.97 GAA with seven shutouts this season.
Common Opponents - LMU and Cal State Fullerton have had several common opponents this season. The Titans were 3-4 against those common opponents, picking up wins over Saint Mary's, UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara. They had losses to San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara and UC Santa Barbara. LMU defeated Saint Mary's, San Francisco and UC Riverside this season, and the team lost to San Diego. LMU tied Santa Clara and UC Santa Barbara.
Against the Tournament Field - Fullerton is 1-2-1 against teams that were selected in the tournament field. The Titans picked up a 2-1 win at regional #2 seed Texas A&M on September 15th, but recorded losses to regional #1 seeds Santa Clara and Texas. They tied California on September 3rd.
The Bruins enter the regional having won 11 of their last 12 games and capturing their fourth straight Pac-10 title. Their only setback was a 2-1 overtime loss at Oregon on Friday. UCLA enters with a 17-3 record, and the team's only other losses this season were to regional #1 seed Santa Clara (3-0) and regional #2 seed Penn State (3-1). Freshman Lauren Cheney leads the team in scoring with 15 goals in just 16 games. Danesha Adams has seven goals with three assists this season, and Valerie Henderson has a 0.56 GAA with eight shutouts.
The Rebels used penalty kicks to defeat Utah and win the Mountain West Conference Championship on Sunday. UNLV enters the post-season with a 9-10-3 record but won three straight (2 via penalty kicks count as ties for overall record) in the MWC tournament. Armani Rice leads the team in scoring with five goals, and Katie Carney has added four goals and three assists this season. Alicia Lugo and Ciera Nero have shared time in goal this season. Lugo made 11 saves in the MWC Championship game and has a 0.76 GAA. Nero has a 1.13 GAA. The Rebels are coached by Kat Mertz who was an assistant coach at UCLA for five years prior to leading UNLV to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
Daily tickets are $6 for youth/students and $8 for adults. All tickets can be purchased at the Drake Stadium ticket window prior to the match.
Slovek on Pace to Break Record
Joslyn Slovek currently has a 0.58 goals against average and is on pace to break the LMU single season goals against average record of 0.60 set by Tracy Sharp in 1998.
We've Been Here Before
This is the second time that LMU has earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Lions advanced to the 2002 postseason after going 10-6-3 in the regular season and finishing tied for third in the WCC. That season, LMU played #7 UCLA in the first round, falling to the host Bruins 4-0 at Drake Stadium.
Fit To Be Tied
The Lions recorded a program record six ties in 2006, besting their previous high of five in 1998. LMU played double overtime in seven games this season, going 1-0-6 in those games. LMU's overtime was was over Oklahoma State, as Jamie Bell scored the game-winner with less than a minute remaining in the game. The Lions recorded ties with two top five teams this year - #3 Santa Clara and #5 Portland.
Two members of the LMU women's soccer teams have sisters that will also be competing in the tournament this weekend. Senior Amy Sauer's younger sister Katie is a sophomore midfielder/defender for Drake. Drake will take on St. Louis after winning the Missouri Valley Conference. Erica Chong, the older sister of freshman Katrina Chong, is a senior forward for Long Island who will face Texas on Friday.
LMU Against the Tournament Field
The Lions played six games against teams in this year's tournament field, going 3-1-2 in those six games. LMU recorded a 1-0 double overtime win over regional #4 seed Oklahoma State, and also recorded wins over USC and Oakland. The Lions tied regional #1 Santa Clara and Portland, and the team's first loss of the season came on the road at Michigan.
Lions Shut Down WCC Offenses
LMU finished conference play on an unbelievable high note, shutting out #5 Portland to record a 0-0 tie. It was the fourth straight WCC shutout, and the fifth out of seven conference games this season. The Lions allowed just three goals in seven games- the least number of goals that LMU has allowed in conference play in program history. The previous best was in 2002 when the Lions allowed just four goals in WCC play. Interestingly, 2002 was the previous year that LMU advanced to the NCAA Tournament. LMU's defense ended the regular season ranked 18th in goals against average this year.
Lions in the Rankings
LMU moved up to 19th in the latest Soccer Buzz national poll, their highest ever ranking in the poll. LMU is 25th in the Soccer America poll, and 24th in the Soccer Times poll. LMU remains unranked in the NSCAA poll. In addition, LMU is ranked 6th in the region by Soccer Buzz, and 10th in the region by the NSCAA.
Slovek Shuts `Em Down
Junior goalkeeper Joslyn Slovek leads the WCC in goals against average, and is currently ranked 22nd in the nation. Slovek recorded shutouts in four of her last five appearances, all WCC contests. Earlier this season, she had two shutouts to earn Defensive MVP honors at the LMU/Four Points Sheraton Culver City Tournament. She added a pair of shutouts to lead LMU to a win over Hawaii and a tie against Pepperdine. The Scottsdale, AZ native now has 18 career shutouts. This season, Slovek has saved 88% of shots faced, good for 14th in the country.
Bell Climbs the Charts
Junior Jamie Bell has scored seven goals with two assists this season. The seven goals puts her in fifth place in the LMU single season chart, and the 16 points has her tied for seventh in the single season points chart.
The Lions shut down the 9th most prolific offense in the country, recording a 0-0 tie with #5 Portland to wrap up the regular season. The Pilots came into the game averaging nearly three goals per game, but were held scoreless by the Lion defense. The only other team to shutout Portland this season was #1 North Carolina. Joslyn Slovek recorded 12 saves to record her eighth shutout of the season, and fifth in WCC games. Slovek was named the WCC Player of the Week, and was named to the Soccer Buzz Team of the Week for her performance.
Temple Honored Again
Whitney Temple was named to the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week following the games against Utah Valley State and Gonzaga. The senior defender had been named to the Soccer America Team of the Week and was the WCC Player of the Week earlier this season.
Lions Get Offensive
LMU scored 10 goals in a four game span, scoring three goals against Oakland and UC Riverside, and two goals against USC and Hawaii. Those 10 goals were scored by seven different players. Katie Osborne and Katrina Chong had games with two goals each, but LMU's offensive attack has been extremely balanced this season. Nine different players have scored goals for the Lions in 2006, and 12 different players have registered assists.
National Honors for LMU
Junior goalkeeper Joslyn Slovek was named to the Soccer Buzz Team of the Week as a result of her outstanding performances against Hawaii and Pepperdine. The Scottsdale, AZ native made six saves in each game to record two shutouts.
Freshmen Get In On The Action
All three goals in LMU's 3-0 win over UC Riverside were scored by freshmen. The Lions' rookie class has scored six goals this season, including two by Katrina Chong, Tiffany Harrison and Lacey Bartels. LMU's freshman class has been instrumental to the team's success this season, with Harrison and Kim Feeney starting every game this season. Feeney has played every minute of the season as a central defender. Six different newcomers have started a game in 2006.
Temple Adds to Awards
In addition to being named the WCC co-Player of the Week, Whitney Temple was also named to the Soccer America Team of the Week for her role in guiding the Lions to the win over USC. Temple scored the game-winning goal in the 85th minute to help the Lions to the victory. Just as important, she led a defensive unit that shut down the powerful Trojan offense. USC was limited to just two shots on goal, and just six shots overall, despite entering the game averaging over 13 shots per game. In addition, the Women of Troy did not have a single corner kick- the first time all season that they had been shutout of corners.
Murph Hits Century Mark
LMU Head Coach Gregg Murphy picked up his 100th LMU victory in dramatic fashion with a 2-1 comeback victory on Sunday, September 24th. Now in his 11th season with the Lions, Murphy has a record of 105-77-26 at LMU. Last season, he recorded his 150th career victory with the win over UC Riverside. His career mark stands at 163-129-30. Murphy spent his first six years as a head coach at Chapman.
Junior Jamie Bell has been LMU's most potent offensive threats so far this season. She entered her junior year with one goal and four assists in her career, but has been a strong offensive weapon for the Lions this season. Bell leads the team in scoring with seven goals, including the game-winner against Oklahoma State.
Baduria is Back
Stefanie Baduria is in her third year at LMU, but she struggled with injuries during her first two seasons. A stress fracture limited Baduria to just six games as a freshman, but she still earned WCC All-Freshman team honors. She was knocked out of the entire 2005 season with an ACL injury, but she is back healthy in 2006. She scored her first career goal in LMU's 2-0 win over St. Francis, and assisted on the second LMU goal of the game. Baduria has four assists this season and is tied for third on the team with eight points. Her biggest goal of the season so far came when she tied the game against USC.
LMU Head Coach Gregg Murphy had the opportunity of a lifetime when he traveled to Russia to serve as an assistant coach to the US Women's Under-20 National team at the 2006 World Championships. Murphy thoughts about the tournament and his experience can be found in a journal on the LMU website at www.LMULions.com.
Follow the Lions all season with GameTracker for Women's Soccer. During all LMU home games, you can get the up-to-the-minute score, as well as updated game stats and a play by play. For more information, go to www.LMULions.com.
LMU's NCAA Tournament action this weekend will be broadcast free and live on Lions All-Access. LMU men's soccer team manager Toby Kennedy and LMU men's soccer player Josh Carroll will bring you all of the action with insightful analysis of all of the action at Drake Stadium. To listen to the broadcasts, go to www.LMULions.com and click on the Lions All-Access link on the right. Just select the game and enjoy the broadcast.