WCC Break Takes Men's Soccer to Penn State

Alvaro Madrigal has 7g and 4a on the year.
Oct. 20, 2015

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LOS ANGELES - LMU men’s soccer takes a two-match win streak on the road this week as a break from West Coast Conference action sends the Lions across the country to face Big Ten member Penn State in University Park, Pa, on Wednesday. The Lions and Nittany Lions hit the pitch at 7 p.m. Eastern, 4 p.m. Pacific.

The Lions (7-6-0, 2-1-0 WCC) snapped a six-match skid with back-to-back West Coast Conference shutouts at Sullivan Field last week. LMU, which began the season with five straight victories, seeks to carry that momentum to Penn State (5-6-2, 2-3-1 Big Ten) before returning to league play on Oct. 30.

LMU at Penn State - Wednesday, Oct. 21 @ 7:00 p.m. ET (4:00 p.m. PT) - University Park, PA

• LMU earned shutout’s Nos. five and six on the season last week with a 1-0 victory over Gonzaga (Oct. 16) and a 3-0 final against Portland (Oct. 18).
• The two WCC shutouts were both credited to senior goalkeeper Paul Blanchette, who totaled a combined 10 saves and ran his career shutout total to 17. Blanchette earned his second WCC Player of the Week honor for the performance.
• Sophomore Cruz Corral scored in each of the Lions’ last two outings, marking his first two goals of the season. The game-winner against the Zags was the first of his career.
Alvaro Madrigal had a goal and assist in the Lions’ win over Portland, giving him seven goals and four assists for the season. His point total of 17 and his goal total of seven both lead the team and WCC.
John McFarlin earned his first assist of the season on Cruz Corral’s game-winner against Gonzaga. The redshirt senior now has 19 for his career, and is two shy of the LMU record of 21, held by Arturo Torres (1999-02).
• The Lions opened the season with five straight wins for the first time in program history.
• The Lions ran off a program record 405:40 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal this season. The overall streak dated back to Nov. 4, 2014 and totaled 529:36 minutes. The streak was finally snapped on Sept. 11 at Bakersfield when the Roadrunners found the back of the net 40 seconds into the second half.
Paul Blanchette was named WCC Player of the Week for Sept. 7 after being credited with a pair of shutouts at Harvard and Boston College last week. The senior goalkeeper also contributed the assist on Grant Sampson’s game-winner at BC, the second assist of his career.
• Sophomore midfielder Alvaro Madrigal and junior defender Mark Dotseth were named to the All-Tournament team at last week’s TLC Heating & Plumbing Invitational, hosted by New Mexico.
• Paul Blanchette’s shutout at Boston College (Sept. 6) was the 15th of his career, breaking the all-time LMU record of 14, held by Jerad Bailey (1997-00).
• Sophomore Grant Sampson scored twice in the Lions 2-0 shutout of UNLV (Aug. 30) and tallied the game-winner at Boston College on Sept. 6, giving him three goals on the season.
Adrien Perez was named to the 2015 All-WCC Preseason Team, but the junior midfielder has been inactive since Sept. 13 due to injury.
• LMU was picked fourth in the West Coast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.
• The Lions returned 16 letterwinners and nine total starters from last year’s squad that went 9-4-6 overall.
• The 2014 Lions matched the program record for fewest losses, most unbeaten matches and goals against average.
• In addition to 11 newcomers, LMU also welcomes back redshirt-senior John McFarlin, who was sidelined in 2014 with a knee injury. When last on the pitch, McFarlin finished the 2013 season ranked in a tie for third nationally in assists per game (0.61) and tied for fourth with 11 total assists.



This marks the first meeting between LMU and Penn State.

The Nittany Lions enter Wednesday’s match at 5-6-2 overall and 2-3-1 in the Big Ten. After starting the season 4-1-2, the Nittany Lions have gone 1-5-0 in their last six matches and enter the meeting with LMU having dropped three straight. Connor Maloney leads PSU with five goals and one assist for 11 points. Brian James has added two goals and two assists. In goal, Matt Bersano has played every minute, making 42 saves and posting a 1.19 GAA. He also has five shutouts.

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