Nov. 11, 2012
LOS ANGELES - On Senior Day at Sullivan Field the LMU men's soccer team put on a show, scoring a season-high four goals in a 4-2 victory over WCC rival Saint Mary's Sunday.
The win helped the Lions close out 2012 riding a five-match unbeaten streak, finishing at 6-10-4 overall and 4-5-3 in WCC play. The Gaels moved to 9-4-6 overall and 5-3-4 in the WCC.
Christian Alvarado put the Lions on the board just 4:29 into the match, heading home his first goal of the season on a service from Craig Nitti. Senior Mitch Boland also received an assist on the goal.
Shots were hard to come by for both teams as the Lions carried their slim 1-0 lead, and 5-1 shot advantage, into the second half.
From there, the floodgates opened. Conroy Cunningham netted the equalizer for Saint Mary's in the 53rd minute on an unassisted strike.
Eight minutes later the Lions were rewarded a penalty kick and Nitti converted the opportunity, putting LMU back in the lead, 2-1, with just under 30 minutes to play.
In the 61st minute, SMC's Trevor Newquist was issued his second yellow card, forcing the Gaels to play the remainder of the match a man down.
Taking advantage, Alvarado pushed the Lions' lead to 3-1 in the 63rd minute with his second goal of the day. Receiving a pass from Connor Gill near midfield, Alvarado carried the ball into the box where he placed a shot into the lower left netting, out of reach of Gaels' keeper Lucas Champenois. The junior striker nearly collected a hat trick minutes later when the Lions were awarded a second PK opportunity, but the shot nicked the crossbar, thwarting the potential feat.
Boland, who had already collected an assist on the Lions' first goal, made the most of his final collegiate match with a header goal off a cross from Pedro Velazquez at the 82:28 mark.
The Gaels closed out the final minutes with a Justin Howard goal in the 87th minute.
LMU held a 10-5 shot advantage for the balance of the match. Champenois finished with a pair of saves for the Gaels. Paul Blanchette played the first 34 minutes in goal for LMU before being replaced by Billy Thompson who made one save while allowing the two goals.