Early Look at Two WCC Rivals
The LMU men's soccer team hosts Santa Clara on Friday before traveling to San Francisco on Sunday.
The weekend's two matches against West Coast Conference opponents are part of the league's reformatting and do not count in the official league standings/record that determines the WCC champion and winner of the league's NCAA Tournament bid. The WCC men's soccer schedule consists of a single round-robin format in 2014 and begins for LMU on Oct. 17 against newcomer Pacific.
The Lions enter the week at 3-3-2 overall following their 4-0 shutout of Grand Canyon on Friday, Sept. 26. Antonio Porreco and Craig Nitti each tallied their first goals of the year in the win while Adrien Perez netted his team-leading third. LMU's fourth goal came courtesy a Grand Canyon own goal.
LMU's strength of schedule has earned it a 53 rank in the NCAA RPI, released Sept. 29. The Lions are the third highest listed team in the WCC with Saint Mary's coming in at No. 37 and Santa Clara sitting at No. 47. The NCAA RPI is one major factor in determining at-large berths into the NCAA Tournament field of 64.
Santa Clara enters the week at 4-3-1 overall and 2-2-1 away from its home Buck Shaw Stadium. The Broncos were unbeaten in four straight, including a scoreless draw against then No. 1 UCLA, but most recently have fallen in two straight matches, 1-0 to Cal State Fullerton and 4-0 to then No. 15 Cal. Edson Cardona and Carlos Delgadillo have two goals each for Santa Clara.
San Francisco is 5-2-1 entering the week and will travel to face San Diego on Friday before hosting the Lions on Sunday. The Dons are unbeaten in their last two games, including a scoreless draw against UC Davis and a 3-0 shutout of San Jose State. They have posted four shutouts on the season while goalkeeper Chase Hauser holds a 0.61 GAA. Miguel Aguilar has paced USF with four goals while five other Dons have found the back of the net this season.
Craig Nitti and Adrien Perez were named to the 11-member John Rennie/Nike Invitational All-Tournament Team
Senior defender Craig Nitti was named to the 2014 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List
LMU was the preseason pick to repeat as West Coast Conference Champions, earning six first place votes
Five Lions were named to the 11-member All-WCC Preseason Team including Craig Nitti, John McFarlin, Adrien Perez, Paul Blanchette and Sebastian De Rada
Craig Nitt and Adrien Perez were named to TopDrawerSoccer.com's College Soccer Preseason Top 100 Players list Adrien Perez scored his 14th career goal versus Grand Canyon (Sept. 26) putting him in sole possession of 9th in the LMU career goals record book
SERIES HISTORY VS SANTA CLARA
The Lions are 11-23-7 since 1981 against the Broncos. LMU was victorious in the two meetings last season, earning a convincing 4-0 win on Sullivan Field on Oct. 6 and then going on to clinch the WCC title outright with a 1-0 win in Santa Clara on Nov. 15. Prior to last year's results, six of the previous nine meetings extended into double overtime, resulting in six draws.
SERIES HISTORY VS SAN FRANCISCO
The Lions are 10-26-2 against the Dons since 1981, but have found most of their success in recent years, earning wins in seven of the last 11 meetings. LMU swept the home-and-home series in 2013, posting 1-0 shutouts in each match.
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