Looking to Continue Conference Winning Streak
LMU travels up north looking to continue their conference winning streak against the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Portland Pilots
Oct. 7, 2009
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
After a huge home win against the defending conference champions, University of San Francisco, in overtime the Lions are looking to continue this winning streak on the road. With relentless determination and the will to win, the LMU Lions are striving to put themselves at the front of the conference play this weekend against two more conference match ups.
The Lions will travel north to play two more conference games against Gonzaga on Fri. October 9th at 3:00pm and Portland on Sun. October 11th at 12:00pm..
Guide Available Online
The 2009 LMU men's soccer guide is now available online for viewing and download at www.LMULions.com. This is the only source of copies of the guide.
LMU Receiving Votes in National Top-25
After being absent from any national rankings since early in the 2006 season, LMU made its long-awaited return to the top-25 two weeks ago, checking in at #18 in the Soccer America national rankings. The win over #5 Dartmouth did nothing but improve the Lions' national stature as they then climbed into four of the polls: #20 in Soccer America, #25 in Soccer Times, #28 in Top Drawer Soccer, and #30 in College Soccer News. However, after going 1-1 last week, LMU has since dropped out of all the polls, although the Lions are receiving votes in the Soccer Times and College Soccer News polls. The Lions are also 34th in the Top Drawer Soccer national rankings.
LMU was last ranked on August 30, 2006, when it got as high as 18th in the Soccer America poll following its upset win over then-#2 Connecticut. The Lions were also ranked 22nd in the College Soccer News poll and #23 in the Soccer Times poll. LMU fell out of each of the rankings the following week and had not been back since.
Last Week Recap
In their first conference match up this season, LMU men's soccer proved that they had the will to win. Trailing 2-0 despite having more offensive opportunities, the Lions (6-3-0, 1-0-0) never let up, and their intensity and pressure paid off with a big 3-2 West Coast Conference win in overtime against defending champion San Francisco (3-4-1, 0-1-0) at Sullivan Field on Friday afternoon. The game changing play came with the game tied at 2-2, junior Rafael Baca charged up mid-field, passing the ball Phil Da Silva who punched it in the net past the USF goalie to end the game at 98:26. With only four minutes left in regulation Kyle Johanson passed the ball up field to Rafael Baca who's speed and footwork beat out the USF defenders to score over the top of the goalie and tie the game at 2-2 and set up Da Silva's overtime winning goal.
LMU vs. Gonzaga BullDogs and the Portland Pilots
The Pilots are riding an eight game winning streak and face both USD and LMU this weekend who are both 1-0-0 in conference play. The Pilots were recently ranked at no. 16 in the polls and have proven that they are a team to beat in the West Coast Conference. Free audio streams and live stats will continue to be available at www.PortlandPilots.com for this weekend's games.
Portland opened play in the WCC last weekend by defeating the Santa Clara Broncos 1-0 . Portland senior Collen Warner drilled the game-winner on a penalty kick in the 77th minute. UP was awarded the PK after junior Ryan Luke was tripped up inside Santa Clara's 18-yard box. Portland junior goalkeeper Austin Guerrero made two saves on the night to record his third shutout this season and 14th for his career. Against St. Mary's later that weekend, the Pilots had to overcome a 1-nil first-half deficit to earn a 1-1 draw with the Saint Mary's Gaels in Moraga, Calif. Junior Jarad vanSchaik netted the equalizer in the 69th minute.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have gone 0-2 in conference play against Staint Mary's and University of Portland. Despite these early losses, Gonzaga is looking to boost their record with two games this weekend against LMU and USD. The Bulldogs have now gone three straight matches without a goal since defeating Binghamton 2-1 in overtime Sept. 18 at the Nike/TLC Plumbing and Utilities Invitational hosted by the University of New Mexico.
LMU has already halted one losing streak this year - that of the 17-match win less streak away from Sullivan Field - but has another to contend with. The Lions enter WCC play win less in their last 13 conference matches on the road. LMU's last win at a conference opponent was October 22, 2006 at Gonzaga, more than two seasons ago.
The Lions haven't played many home games this year but they have been sure to protect their territory.
No Shortage of Thrills
Do you like dramatic soccer? If so, take in an LMU game. Seven of the Lions' eight non-conference games were decided by a solitary goal, with three finishing with a 1-0 score line. The Lions seem to enjoy the tension, having posted a 5-2 record when games are decided by a single goal. That's a far cry from last year, when LMU was 6-5-5 in games decided by one goal or fewer.
Baca Back Atop the Charts
In each of his first two seasons at LMU, Rafael Baca led the Lions in scoring. There's no reason for him to change that pattern now that he is a junior as he is once again leading the Lions after his two-goal performances at San Diego State and vs. #5 Dartmouth, and the opener at #6 UCSB.
A Hermann Trophy candidate for the nation's best player, Baca leads the team and the conference with six goals and thirteen points, both of which put him among the top 82 players nationally. Even more impressive than Baca's scoring numbers has been how efficient he has been this season. After needing 67 shots to score five goals in 2008, he scored his first five goals on his first 15 shots of 2009. His 119 career shot attempts are sixth all-time at the school. He has also moved into the LMU career top-10 for goals, tying for ninth with 12, and his four career game-winning goals are tied for fourth all-time at LMU.
Despite being named to the Preseason All-WCC Team this year, the All-WCC First Team last year, and to the Second and All-Freshman Teams in 2007, it wasn't until September 21 of this year that Baca picked up his first career WCC Player of the Week award, earning the honor after scoring twice, including the game-winner with nine minutes left, in the upset of #5 Dartmouth. That performance also earned him a place on the San Diego Nike Classic All-Tournament Team and a spot on the Soccer America Team of the Week. Following being named WCC player of the week, Baca earned the honor of WCC Player of the Month for September.
Rolling Three-Deep in Goal
Head Coach Paul Krumpe said at the beginning of the year that any one of his goalkeepers could start at any program on the west coast. Eight games into the season, his words ring prophetic as all three of the Lions' keepers have proved themselves worthy of starting.
Fifth-year senior Patrick Sampson has started three games in 2009 after posting the second-highest GAA in school history in 2008. He has a 1.60 GAA this year, and is a candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
Redshirt sophomore Jack McCormack got his shot in the home opener and recorded his first career shutout with a 1-0 victory over San Jose State and moved his record to 2-0 with a win over #5 Dartmouth. He ranks second in the WCC with 4.33 saves per game and a .812 save percentage while leading the trio with 13 saves.
All redshirt freshman Max Young did was earn WCC Player of the Week honors after defeating #6 UC Santa Barbara in his collegiate debut and followed that up with his first career shutout against UC Riverside. Young also recorded a win against USF this past weekend. Young is the only Lion keeper not to suffer a loss this year and has a GAA of 1.11. So who's going to start between the pipes next game? Stay tuned.
Big Shot Bernardi
If Rafael Baca is LMU's Superman, then freshman Chris Bernardi is its Boy Wonder. Bernardi has played just 131 collegiate minutes but already has two game-winning goals to his credit, which puts him in a tie for sixth in a single-season at LMU. Bernardi notched his first career strike in the home opener against San Jose State, popping up in the penalty box to fire home the game-winner in a 1-0 victory. He then did the same thing against UC Riverside, scoring the game-winner with three minutes left in the 1-0 win. Coincidentally, not only have both of Bernardi's goals been game-winners, but both have come at home, both have been the only goal in a 1-0 victory, and both came off assists from sophomore Artur Jozkowicz and junior Vincent Ocampo.
Lions Off to Best Start Since 2002
At 6-3-0, LMU posted its best non-conference mark since the WCC switched to a double round-robin format in 2004. The Lions also had their first non-conference winning season since 2006, when they went 4-3-0.
LMU vs. Ranked Opponents
Head Coach Paul Krumpe has always made it a point to schedule difficult opponents and this year is no different. The Lions have already faced three ranked opponents during the non-conference slate, marking the 10th straight season that the Lions have matched up against a top-25 school before WCC play begins. LMU performed well, going 2-1-0 in this year's three consecutive games against ranked schools (#6 UC Santa Barbara, #15 Michigan State, and #5 Dartmouth) but it is nothing compared to last year, when the Lions opened the year with six straight top-25 contests, going 1-2-3. Overall, the Lions have fared well against the nation's best, turning in a record of 24-36-7, including posting seven wins on the road. LMU has also defeated a ranked foe in every season this decade and has two or more victories against a top-25 opponent in eight of the last nine seasons. Since 2001, the Lions are 23-23-4 vs. the top-25.
LMU's twelve goals in 2009 have come from only five sources (Baca 6, Bernardi 2, Steffen Canty 1, Phil Da Silva 2 , and John Ikard 1), but several Lions have figured into the build-up to those nine goals. Through the season's first nine games, nine different Lions have recorded at least one assist. Senior William Johnson, junior Vincent Ocampo, sophomore Artur Jozkowicz and Kye Johnanson each have two assists to lead that category while sixth other players have one assist.
Krumpe Reaches His Century in Historic Win
Already the winningest coach in LMU history, Paul Krumpe hit a personal milestone on September 13 when he recorded his 100th career coaching victory in LMU's 2-1 victory at then-#6 UC Santa Barbara. Now in his 12th season with the Lions, Krumpe enters this week's play with a record of 103-95-25 and is the fourth active WCC coach to achieve the feat.