Nov. 16, 2004
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Loyola Marymount will host Cal State Northridge in the first round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament, the NCAA announced on Monday. The game is set for Saturday at noon at Sullivan Field on the campus of LMU. The Lions advance to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth year in a row, and face the Matadors in the first round for the second time in program history. LMU won the first meeting, 1-0, in 2002 at Sullivan Field. The winner of Saturday's game will face No. 6 seed UCLA in the second round in Westwood.
Tickets are available from the LMU Ticket Office at (310) 338-6095, or at the gate. Tickets for adults are $10, and $7 for students with ID, seniors and children. Saturday's game will be broadcast live on the Lions' Audio Network, with Toby Kennedy bringing you the action from Sullivan Field. Live Stats will also be available for the contest. Check LMULions.com for information.
Scouting the Lions
LMU concluded the regular season with a 10-7-3 record and finished second in the West Coast conference with a 8-3-1 record. The Lions are led by junior midfielder Armando Melendez who leads the team in scoring with 18 points (5 goals, 8 assists). Freshmen Diego Barrera and Nick Blanco each have 13 points (5 goals, 3 assists) in their rookie campaign. Robert Flores leads the Lions in net, recording a 1.33 goals against average with four shutouts.
Scouting the Matadors
The Matadors are 11-5-2 on the season, going 6-2-2 in the Big West conference to finish second behind No. 9 seed UC Santa Barbara. CSUN has just two losses in its last 13 games. Willie Sims leads Cal State Northridge in scoring with 16 goals and two assists. Ryan Rossi has scored five goals and added five assists, while Yossi Raz and Daniel Paladini each have three goals and eight assists. Radames Lafaurie has compiled a 1.37 goals against average, and has 4.5 shutouts this season.
LMU and CSUN have met 16 times since 1991. The Matadors hold a 9-5-2 advantage, but LMU is undefeated in the last six meetings dating back to 1998. The Lions were victorious in the last meeting, defeating CSUN 1-0 in the first round of the 2002 NCAA men's soccer tournament. Arturo Torres scored the only goal of the game in the 84th minute to give the Lions their first ever NCAA tournament victory. Interestingly, the Lions faced eventual NCAA champion UCLA in the second round of the tournament.
LMU Tournament History
The Lions have appeared in the postseason four times, all under head coach Paul Krumpe. In 2001, he led the Lions to their first NCAA tournament appearance. They fell to UCLA, 3-2 in double overtime in a first round game to finish the season 9-7-2 overall. In 2002, they took the next step, recording their first postseason win, a 1-0 first round victory over Cal State Northridge. However, the Bruins ended LMU's season with a 4-2 win in the second round. The Lions finished the 2002 season with a school-record 15-4-2 finish. In 2003, 11 days after defeating Santa Clara 3-0 to wrap up the regular season, the Lions fell to the Broncos in the second round of the tournament, 1-0, in overtime to end their season with a 12-7-1 record.
Armando Melendez was named the WCC's Player of the Month. The junior midfielder led LMU to a 7-2-1 record during October and a 7-1-1 mark in WCC play. Melendez netted three goals and handed out four assists as the Lions were first place for the entire month and finished the first half of conference play unbeaten. Melendez collected game-winning goals in victories over San Diego and then-No. 2 Santa Clara. The midfielder assisted on game-winning goals against San Francisco and Portland. Melendez set-up Sean Rhynard in LMU's key 2-1 victory over USF and then found LJ Reinhardt for a 1-0 win against Portland. For Octoberm, Melendez led the WCC in points during conference matches and was tied for second in assists in conference games. Melendez was also named the LMU male student-athlete of the month for October.
Barrera, Kovar Honored
Freshman Diego Barrera had a career weekend against San Diego, recording three goals in LMU's two wins over the Toreros. For his efforts, the midfielder was named the WCC co-Player of the Week. He was also named by Soccer America and College Soccer News to their Team of the Week. Barrera is the second Lion to be honored by the WCC and Soccer America this season. Senior Matt Kovar was honored by both after he led the defense to two shutouts over Gonzaga and Portland to open conference play.
Lions Dominate Conference Play
The Lions were atop the conference standings until the final day of conference play, finishing just two points behind WCC Champion San Francisco. Their offensive success during conference play was a key reason that they were so successful. In conference games, LMU averaged 1.83 goals per game. Several freshman were key contributors in conference play. Diego Barrera finished second in the conference with 12 points in WCC games, while Nick Blanco was fourth in the conference with 11 points. Four of the top 12 leaders in points in conference games were Lions. Six of the top 12 players in assists were Lions, and LMU had four different players with three goals in conference games. Interestingly, only Armando Melendez appears in the top 10 of shots per game taken in conference games.
A Place in the Record Books
Senior Matt Kovar started the season sixth in the career record book for assists with 14. The defender has added five assists this season, to up his career total to 19. It puts him second all-time, just three assists behind career assist leader Arturo Torres (1999-02). Junior Armando Melendez had eight assists this season, tying him with Kovar for the second highest assist total in a single season. Melendez is just two assists behind Torres, who had 10 assists in 2000. For his career, Melendez now has 11 assists, putting him tied for eighth place.
A Look Back
The Lions fell to Santa Clara, 1-0, in their final regular season game on Friday, November 12th. The Broncos scored the game's only goal in the 89th minute to deny the Lions their first conference title.
Strength of Schedule
LMU faced eight of the teams that qualified for the tournament, going 5-5-1 against the field. The Lions scored victories against Portland (twice), Santa Clara, San Francisco, and American University, and battled to a 0-0 tie with UCLA at the Home Depot Center on September 19th. LMU also faced No. 1 seed Wake Forest (3-1 loss), No. 13 seed New Mexico (3-0 loss), and No. 14 seed Creighton (2-1 loss).
West Coast Conference in the Postseason
Yet again, the West Coast Conference proved to be one of the toughest conferences in the nation, as four teams earned postseason berths. Only the Big 10, ACC and Big East had more teams selected than the WCC. League champion San Francisco will host Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Saturday at 1:00pm. Santa Clara and Portland will leave campus for their games. The Broncos will face California on Friday at 1:30pm, while the Pilots head to Washington on Friday at 6:00pm.
LMU Head Coach Paul Krumpe
Success has become an expected part of the LMU men's soccer program. The reason: Head Coach Paul Krumpe.
Entering his seventh season as a head coach in the collegiate ranks, Krumpe has guided the Lion soccer program into the national spotlight. Under Krumpe's tutelage, the Lions have made three straight appearances to the NCAA College Cup, with the last two squads playing and beating the nation's best.
The 2003 squad finished the season at 12-7-1, earning a top-16 seed in the NCAA College Cup and a first-round bye. That season was a continuation of the 2002 campaign, as they posted a record breaking season under Krumpe. The Lions earned a program-best 15 wins (15-4-2 Overall/4-2-0 WCC) while collecting their first ever postseason win with a 1-0 victory over Cal State Northridge in Round 1 of the tournament. In his last five seasons at LMU, Krumpe and the Lions have collected an impressive 54 wins, the most by any coach in five seasons in LMU soccer history.
Krumpe's eye for recruiting extremely gifted and talented players continues to show year after year. He had three players earn All-American honors, including a pair of NSCAA All-Americans in 2002, Arturo Torres and Andres Murriagui. In addition, in six seasons he has coached 34 players who have earned All-West Coast Conference honors. His guidance off the field is just as evident, coaching the program's first ever Academic All-American in Jeff Kovar (2002).
In addition, Krumpe's ties with the professional ranks has also been impressive. Three former Lions have gone on to play in the MLS, as Torres, Murriagui and Michael Erush have all signed to play with MLS programs.
Krumpe, who helped guide UCLA to the 1997 NCAA Men's Soccer National Championship as an assistant coach, took control of the program at LMU in 1998. After a long and storied career as both a player and an assistant coach with the Bruins, he was announced as LMU's third head coach in as many seasons on April 2, 1998.
Prior to accepting the Lions' head coaching position, Krumpe spent three seasons as an assistant at UCLA. As a major contributor to one of the most successful programs in the nation, he helped guide the Bruins to a record of 56-9-1. During those seasons, UCLA made three NCAA regional appearances and won the 1997 national championship. That squad also featured four players who were selected in the Major League Soccer (MLS) collegiate draft, the most from any university in 1997.