Barba's Brilliance Lifts Lions
Freshman nets winner in OT for 2-1 win
Oct. 2, 2008
Los Angeles - Freshman Fernando Barba scored the first goal of his LMU career, 27 seconds into overtime, to give the Lions a 2-1 victory over Cal State Bakersfield in their final non-conference game of the season Thursday at Sullivan Field. The win gives the Lions (2-2-4) momentum heading into West Coast Conference play while dropping the Roadrunners (2-10-0) to their fifth straight defeat.
LMU hadn't won a game since September 5 and had tied their last two heading into Thursday's game. The possibility of another tie loomed large as the two teams headed into overtime. That ended quickly when senior Stephen Carlson fed Barba who blasted a shot from 22 yards out for the goal and the win.
Head coach Paul Krumpe knew how important it was for LMU to get the win instead of another tie: "We told them before the game that we've been finding ways to compete and get ties, which had us on the right track. But it was now time to get victories and start a winning streak."
After a tough week of practice and playing under the hot afternoon sun, LMU started sluggishly. The Roadrunners had a great scoring chance about a half-minute into the game when Joe Polifroni headed a ball toward the goal. The shot was tipped away by junior goalie Patrick Sampson, who was named WCC Player of the Month earlier today.
From that point forward, most of the best scoring chances belonged to the Lions. Sampson would only face two shots on goal the rest of the game. Steve Trojanowski, the goalie for Bakersfield, faced 26 shots overall, 13 of which were on goal. The best chance the Lions had in the first half was a shot by freshman Artur Jozkowicz off a corner kick that was saved at the post by one of the Bakersfield's defenders.
While LMU won the shot battle in the first half, 8-4, the team wasn't attacking on offense as much as the coaches wanted. Krumpe said, "We questioned their urgency at halftime and challenged them to be more dangerous with the ball going toward the goal as much as possible."
The Lions listened to their coaches and ended up with 18 shots in the second half and overtime. Despite that, it was the Roadrunners who got on the board first. Oscar Coppieters navigated between defenders to open the scoring in the 52nd minute off a volley from the corner by Javier Barba.
Instead of getting down, LMU revved up its play and put more pressure on Bakersfield. It paid off as less than three minutes later, Jozkowicz scored the equalizer for the Lions, his second goal of the season. Jozkowicz showed effort on a play everyone else had given up on, chasing down a great long ball pass from junior Steffen Canty and heading past Trojanowski to draw the Lions level..
The Lions had many great chances throughout the second half to gain the lead. Sophomore Rafael Baca had four shots, three of them on goal, in the second half. One of those was in the last minute of regulation from close in the box. His shot came during a flurry in which Jozkowicz had a shot of his own that was blocked by Trojanowski, who made multiple difficult saves in a row for Bakersfield. While he kept them in the game until overtime, he could not stop the first shot of overtime from finding the back of the net and giving the Lions the win.
Sampson made two saves for LMU to pick up the win while Trojanowski stopped nine for the Roadrunners. LMU also had two shots cleared off the line by Bakersfield defenders.
LMU visits Saint Mary's on Sunday to open West Coast Conference play.
- GO LIONS -