No.8 Men's Soccer Set To Open WCC Play, Looking To Remain Undefeated
Oct. 9, 2002
The Lions remain among the nations elite ranked No.8 in the latest NSCAA/adidas Division I Men's Top 25 poll. LMU remained undefeated last weekend with wins over UC Riverside and No.25 UC Santa Barbara. The Lions made easy work of UCR, 3-0, with a couple of goals from senior Arturo Torres. The 7th-ranked Lions then handed No.25 UCSB its first loss, 1-0, of the year with a goal from senior Andres Murriagui.
The Lions gear up to open West Coast Conference play at home this Sunday, Oct. 13. LMU will host No.12 San Diego in what should prove to be an exciting opening to the WCC season as the Lions looke to remain undefeated through the first week of conference play. The Lions and the Toreros will square off at 3 p.m. Sunday's contest against the USD Toreros is Game 2 of a double header that day. The LMU women's team takes on No.17 Pepperdine at 12 p.m.
Unblemished Record Stays In Tact
The Lions kept their unbeaten streak alive and extended it to 12 games last weekend with wins against UC Riverside, 3-0, and No.25 UC Santa Barbara, 1-0, in overtime. The Lions are the only undefeated team in the West Coast Conference. LMU is one of only four undefeated teams left in the nation, the other three are: Wake Forest (8-0-2), Bradley (10-0-2) and Coastal Carolina (9-0-1).
Novak Named LMU Athlete Of The Month
Junior midfielder Kevin Novak and the LMU men's soccer team have had a memorable start to their 2002 season. Novak put on a quite a show last weekend recording consecutive multi-goal games against Sacramento State and San Jose State. The Huntington Beach native scored two goals against the Sac. State Hornets on Friday and then repeated the performance with two goals against the SJSU Spartans on Sunday. He has netted six goals so far this season, which ties for seventh in the single-season record book. He has also added in one assist giving him a team-high 13 points through the month of September.
Kovar's Defense Un"Friend"ly
Senior defender Jeff Kovar has been making a case for himself as a candidate for the West Coast Conferene Defender of the Year. Kovar's leadership in the backfield is a big reason for the Lions current No.8 national ranking and their 12-game unbeaten streak. Last Sunday he had the daunting task of stopping UC Santa Barbara's Rob Friend, and he did just that. Kovar man-marked Friend the entire game and limited him to just three shots. Friend had previously scored against his last 12 opponents, the fourth longest streak in NCAA history.
Defense Among Best In The Nation
The Lions have been shutting out opponents left and right all season, including then-ranked No.3 UCLA (2-0) and then-ranked No.25 UC Santa Barbara (1-0). With a team goals against average of 0.48 LMU ranks fifth in the nation in that category. The Lions shutout percentage of 0.50 ranks them 14th nationally. Lion keepers Adam Sthay and Robert Flores have combined for 38 saves this season, 21 and 17, respectively. On top of that, Sthay has collected three shutouts so far in 2002, he is 2.5 shutouts shy of single-season record (5.5) set by Chris Walter in 1996. Sthay's goals against average of 0.50 currently ranks as the fifth best in the nation.
A War Of The WCC's Best
All eyes will be on Sullivan Field this Sunday as both San Diego and Loyola Marymount have made compelling early season arguments for the title of the WCC's best team. The Lions have played well at home posting a 4-0-2 record, while the Toreros have been solid on the road gong 5-2-0 in away and neutral site games. The match-up also features two of the most prolific goal scorers in WCC history. USD's Ryan Coiner and LMU's own Arturo Torres rank fifth and ninth on the WCC all-time goals scored list, respectively.
Lions In The Rankings
The Lions gained their highest national ranking (7th) in program history two weeks ago. LMU jumped into the rankings at No. 20 in the NSCAA/adidas Division I Men's Top 25 poll the week of Sept. 9 and currently the Lions stand at No.8 in the NSCAA/adidas poll. LMU has also made its way onto the Soccer America chart ranked at No.9. This is the Lions fifth consecutive week in the national rankings this season.
Raising The Bar
The Lions undefeated record of 10-0-2 so far this season marks the best ever start for a Lion soccer team in program history. Until now no LMU men's soccer team has ever started the first 12 games without a loss. The Lions have already matched the program record for single-season wins (10). That mark was set by Head Coach Paul Krumpe's 2000 squad which ended the year with a 10-7-1 overall record and a 2-3-1 West Coast Conference mark.
Murriagui Named To National Team Of The Week
Senior midfielder Andres Murriagui was the only player from the West Coast selected to College Soccer News' National Team of the Week. The 5-foot-6 native of Laguna Hills, Calif. netted his lone goal of the weekend in overtime against No.25 UC Santa Barbara extending LMU's unbeaten streak to 12. Murriagui, who tends to take the crowds breath away when dribbling, pulled his signature yo-yo-ing tactics with the ball against the Gauchos. He managed to dribble circles around three defenders before finally taking the shot and beating UCSB's keeper for the win. Scoring his fifth goal of the year, he is now second on the squad with 12 points. Murriagui's career points total is up to 48 while his career goals stands at 18. He stands at third on the all-time charts in both categories.
Torres Tearin' Up The West Coast Conference
Senior All-America candidate Arturo Torres is showing that a good thing only gets better with age. The forward and Wilmington, CA, native, currently ranks ninth on the West Coast Conference all-time goals chart with 43 and ninth on the all-time points list with 105 career points. Torres is one of two active players among the WCC's top-10 goal scorers and is three goals away from breaking into the top-5. He already owns the LMU records for career goals (43), points (105) and assists (19).
LMU Head Coach
Paul Krumpe is in his fifth season at the helm of the LMU men's soccer program as he led the Lions to their first-ever invitation to the College Cup. As the 1999 WCC Coach of the Year, Krumpe led the team to their most successful season in program history, establishing a new LMU men's soccer record for wins in a season (10-7-1). A 1986 graduate of UCLA, Krumpe came to LMU after spending three seasons as an assistant with the Bruins. During those seasons, he helped lead UCLA to a record of 56-9-1, three NCAA regional appearances, three Mountain Pacific Sports Federation titles and a national championship in 1997. As a player for UCLA, Krumpe was a four-year starter (1982-85), co-captain of the 1985 NCAA Championship team and a two-time All-Far West Region selection. He also has extensive international experience, playing in over 40 games with Team USA including the 1988 Summer Olympics.
The 12th-ranked University of San Diego Toreros enter the week with a 10-2-0 overall record and will face one more non-conference opponent, Cal State Northridge, before traveling to Sullivan Field. USD's recent 4-1 win over Albany was the team's 10th win of the season, marking the 11th straight season the Toreros have reached double-digit wins, a new WCC record. USD is led by senior Ryan Coiner who has tallied 11 goals on the season, a total which also leads the WCC. Head Coach Seamus McFadden is in his 24th year at the helm of the USD men's soccer program. McFadden owns a 242-170-30 record with the Toreros. San Diego owns the advantage in the 14-4-2 all-time series record against the Lions. The Toreros recorded a 2-0 win against LMU last season (10/26/01).