Men's Soccer Opens NCAA Tournament Play at Stanford
In their their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance, the Lions open play at Stanford Thursday night.
Nov. 20, 2013
LOS ANGELES - Fresh off its first outright West Coast Conference Championship, the LMU men's soccer team makes its sixth all-time NCAA Tournament appearance when play begins Thursday, Nov. 21. The Lions draw a first-round match-up at Stanford, an at-large selection after finishing fourth in the Pac-12. Kick off at Stanford's Laird Q. Cagan Stadium is set for 7 p.m.
LMU clinched its second all-time West Coast Conference title and first outright when it earned a 1-0 victory at Santa Clara in Friday, Nov. 15. The Lions went a program best 9-2-1 in WCC play, finishing with 28 points, four ahead of the second place Broncos. The 2010 WCC title was shared with those very same Santa Clara Broncos.
NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
This marks the sixth all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament for LMU. The Lions' previously were selected as an at-large team in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2009. They are 2-5 all-time in tournament play with first-round wins coming in 2002 and 2004 - both 1-0 wins against Cal State Northridge. In addition to the Matadors, the Lions have also faced UCLA, Santa Clara and Sacramento State in NCAA Tournament play. This marks the first postseason meeting with the Cardinal.
ABOUT THE STANFORD CARDINAL
Stanford enters the NCAA Tournament field for the 10th time in program history and the first time since 2009. The Cardinal went 9-6-3 overall in the regular season and 3-5-2 in Pac-12 play to earn an at-large berth. They closed out the regular season with a 2-1 overtime upset of then No. 5 Cal on Nov. 13. Zach Batteer leads Stanford with eight goals, including two game winners, and three assists for 19 points. Jordan Morris also has 19 points on six goals and seven assists. Seven total Cardinal players have scored at least once on the season. In goal, Drew Hutchins has played every minute, posting a 9-6-3 record, four shutouts, 56 saves and a 1.22 goals against average.
WHEN LAST WE MET
LMU earned its first-ever win against Stanford when the teams met on Sept. 21, 2012. Knotted at 1-1 on the first overtime period, Craig Nitti headed home the game-winner on a free kick by Jack McCracken at the 95:55 mark. Eric Brunter scored the Lions' first goal in the match on a rebound off a shot by Dylan Seedman that hit the crossbar and came back into play.
The Lions and Cardinal have met just three times in program history. Stanford won the first meeting, 9-1, in 1983 as well as a 1-0 final at the Cal Tournament in the 2001 season. LMU picked up its first win over the Cardinal last fall, earning a 2-1 overtime decision at Stanford.
INSIDE THE LIONS
The 2013 Lions closed out the regular season with a 13-4-2 overall mark, the second highest win total in program history. Only the 2002 squad that won 15 games ranks higher. Also for the record books is a program best 0.85 goals against average and a third-best rank in shutouts with seven. On the offensive side, the team totals in points (106), goals (33) goals per game (1.74) and assists (40) all rank fifth in LMU's single-season record book. Individually, freshman Adrien Perez paces the Lions with 10 goals and five assists for 25 points. The rookie's point total ranks third all-time at LMU while his goals total is fourth only to LMU Hall of Famer Arturo Torres who holds the top three spots. John McFarlin has matched the LMU record of 10 single season assists, whcih leads the WCC and ranks No. 6 nationally entering postseason play. McFarlin is now knocking at the door of the LMU top five for career assists as he currently sits in a tie for sixth with 17. Paul Blanchette, meanwhile, now owns the LMU single-season record for shutouts with seven.
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