Aug. 16, 2011
SAN BRUNO, Calif. --- After clinching a share of the team's first West Coast Conference title in program history last season, LMU men's soccer has been selected to repeat as WCC men's soccer champions this season. The Lions earned six first-place votes and 36 points overall in a preseason poll of the West Coast Conference's seven head coaches.
The Lions return nine starters and 19 letterwinners from a team that went 12-6-2 overall and 8-3-1 in the WCC a year ago. The returning experience has the Lions debuting in several national polls, including the latest poll to be released, CollegeSoccerNews.com, which has the Lions ranked 19th.
With that experience comes depth, and the Lions showed that depth in a 11 vs. 11 scrimmage over the weekend.
"It was good to be back on the field and see the guys in a 11 vs. 11 situation," said Head Coach Paul Krumpe, entering his 14th season at LMU. "Our depth at each position is terrific this year. It was good to see how balanced we are as an entire group. There is not that much drop off as we look at our first, second and third choices at each position.
"Certainly, this is the deepest group of LMU men's soccer players ever, or at least since I have been here."
Among those choices are WCC Preseason All-Conference selections Roger Downes and Artur Jozkowicz. The senior duo were both All-WCC selections a year ago, with Downes earning first-team and Jozkowicz claiming second-team. In addition, Downes will anchor the Lions defense as the reigning WCC Defender of the Year.
"The competition for starting and traveling and suiting-up for each game will be a tremendous motivator as we move through the season," said Krumpe. "We have great experience. In addition, our incoming freshman class will be very good at filling any holes we may have from the two seniors we did lose last year in Rafa (Rafael Baca) and Vinny (Vincent Ocampo)."
Sitting behind the Lions in the 2011 Preseason Coaches' Poll was the University of San Diego with 27, just one point ahead of 2010 NCAA participant Santa Clara University. The University of Portland captured 21 points in the coaches poll to finish fourth. Saint Mary's earned one first-place vote and finished fifth with 19 points. Gonzaga University and the University of San Francisco round out the poll in a tie for sixth with nine points apiece.
In all, six out of the seven WCC schools are represented on the preseason All-West Coast Conference team. LMU, Portland, USD and Santa Clara led the way with two selections each.
The Lions begin the season at home, taking on Sacramento State, Saturday, Aug. 27 at 2 p.m.
2011 WCC PRESEASON POLL (First Place Votes)
1. Loyola Marymount - 36 (6)
2. San Diego - 27
3. Santa Clara - 26
4. Portland - 21
5. Saint Mary's - 19 (1)
T6. Gonzaga - 9
T6. San Francisco - 9
2011 WCC PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
Mykell Bates - Santa Clara (Sr. D)
Roger Downes - Loyola Marymount (Sr. D)
Steven Evans - Portland (So. MF)
Doug Herrick - Saint Mary's (Sr. GK)
Erik Hurtado - Santa Clara (Jr. F)
Artur Jozkowicz - Loyola Marymount (Sr. F/MF)
Ryan Kawulok - Portland (Sr. D)
James Matern - Gonzaga (RSo. MF)
Stephen Posa - San Diego (Sr. F)
Patrick Wallen - San Diego (Sr. F)
- GO LIONS -