Nov. 18, 2009
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Junior Rafael Baca led a school-record 10 LMU players who were honored on the West Coast Conference postseason awards teams, earning his second straight place on the All-WCC First Team, the conference office announced Wednesday. Junior Vincent Ocampo and sophomore Logan McDaniel were both named to the Second Team, with seniors Patrick Sampson and William Johnson and sophomores Phil Da Silva, Roger Downes, and Tyler Krumpe gaining Honorable Mention status. Additionally, James Rochlitz and Sean Sears were each awarded with places on the All-Freshman team. The 10 players honored are the most in school history for the NCAA Tournament-bound Lions, topping the nine who were recognized in 2005.
Baca (Lawndale, Calif.) becomes the first LMU player to earn First Team All-WCC honors in back-to-back seasons since Matt Kovar in 2003 and 2004 and just the third Lion to be a First Team selection twice in his career. He adds to his Second Team honor from his freshman season, having led the Lions in 2009 with nine goals and 22 points, both new career-highs. A Hermann Trophy candidate for the nation's top player and a team co-captain, he was second in the league in both goals and points while gaining the WCC Player of the Week accolade for September 15-21. He averaged more than a point a game in conference play, scoring four goals with four assists for 12 points in 11 games.
An Honorable Mention selection last season, Ocampo (San Diego, Calif.) moved up to the Second Team after starting 19 of 20 games overall and 11 of 12 in conference play. The junior midfielder had a goal and two assists, scoring in the season finale at Saint Mary's. He also provided the game-winning assists in non-conference wins over San Jose State and UC Riverside.
Coming off his first career WCC Player of the Week award on Monday, McDaniel (Palmdale, Calif.) gained his first career All-WCC honor with a place on the Second Team. McDaniel registered all nine of his points during conference play, scoring two goals and leading the team with a career-high five assists. He scored his first goal of the year in the 2-1 upset win at #19 San Diego, then netted his second at Santa Clara last Friday. He did almost as much damage by supplying others, as four of his five assists either gave LMU the lead or tied the game.
LMU's quintet on the Honorable Mention list was the most of any school. Johnson (Palos Verdes, Calif.) helped anchor the Lion defense, starting all 20 games and leading the team with 1696 minutes played. A senior co-captain, Johnson registered two assists in gaining his first WCC postseason honor. He was joined by another co-captain in Sampson (Lake Oswego, Ore.), who came on strong at the end of the year, leading LMU to a 3-0-1 finish with two shutouts in the final two weekends. Sampson posted a 2-1-1 record in WCC play with a 1.10 goals-against-average and 27 saves. On November 1 at San Francisco, he posted a WCC season-high 14 saves, also a career-best, and was the WCC Player of the Week for November 2-8. He was an All-WCC Second Team selection last year.
The trio of sophomores helped carry the Lions through conference play. Da Silva (Moraga, Calif.) was LMU's second-leading scorer with three goals and three assists for nine points, with two of the goals and two of the assists coming in the 12 WCC games. Da Silva opened the conference campaign with a bang, scoring the game-winning goal in overtime against San Francisco. He also had the game-winning assist at San Diego. Last year's WCC Freshman of the Year, Downes (San Clemente, Calif.) battled injuries throughout the WCC schedule, appearing in just six games, but made enough of an impact in the middle of the LMU defense to be named to the all-conference team for the second straight season. Krumpe (Torrance, Calif.) moved up from the All-Freshman Team last year after splitting his time between forward and defense in starting 17 games on the year. He scored his only goal of the season in overtime to beat San Diego and recorded his only assist at Santa Clara.
Sears (Marin, Calif.) and Rochlitz (Redondo Beach, Calif.) rounded out the LMU honorees with spots on the All-Freshman Team. Sears appeared in eight of the 12 conference matches, making two starts. He scored his first career goal in the season finale at Santa Clara, opening the scoring with what proved to be the game-winning goal. Rochlitz has played in 18 games this year, starting seven in the central midfield. His defensive talent and tackling ability impressed the conference coaches and helped the Lions control possession.
LMU went 10-8-2 overall in 2009, reaching 10 victories for the fifth time in school history. The Lions were 5-5-2 in the WCC, placing third. Their season continues on Thursday at 1 p.m. when they host Sacramento State in the first round of the NCAA College Cup.
- GO LIONS -