Women's Soccer

Women's Soccer Gears Up For Home Opener

Junior Kelly Yukihiro returns to anchor the Lions defense in the net.
Junior Kelly Yukihiro returns to anchor the Lions defense in the net.

Aug. 29, 2003

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Just Briefly

After advancing to the postseason for the first time in program history last season, the Lions are primed to make a repeat appearance in 2003. Loyola Marymount returns 10 starters, including their top two goal scorers in sophomores Kellie Schroeder (6 goals) and Kelly Lewandoski (4 g, 2 a). With the return of All-WCC defenders,senior Laura Trask (first team) and sophomore Jennifer Horn (honorable mention), the Lions should again have one of the strongest defenses in the WCC. The Lions should once again be solid between the pipes with the return of junior goalkeeper Kelly Yukihiro. In just 11 games, Yukihiro registered 42 saves and posted five shutouts.

Up Next

The Lions kick off the 2003 season by hosting the Cal State Northridge Matadors on Friday, Aug. 29 at 4 p.m. LMU then travels to San Luis Obispo on Sunday, Aug. 31 for its first road game of the year. The Lions will take on the Cal Poly Mustangs at 1 p.m.

A League Above The Rest

The WCC is the conference that many of the top women's soccer prospects are looking to when selecting a league to compete in. The league was ranked #3 in the nation in conference recruiting for the upcoming 2003 season by Soccer Buzz. With back-to-back national titles (Santa Clara in 2001, Portland in 2002), recruits are taking notice that some of the most competitive soccer is being played on the West Coast. In the highly competitive West region, all eight WCC schools are ranked in the top-25 in regards to incoming recruiting classes, making the league arguably the toughest conference in the nation. According to Soccer Buzz the Lions boast the 10th best recruiting class in the region and the 39th best in the nation. Soccer Buzz also ranks LMU 10th in the West Region.

All-West Coast Honors

Seven members of the LMU women's soccer team earned All-West Coast honors last season, as voted on by the league coaches. Senior defender Laura Trask earned first-team honors, while fellow senior Shari Nishikawa was named to the second team at midfield. 2002 Seniors Myka Peck and Beth Skhal, along with sophomore Kellie Schroeder, Jennifer Horn and Lori Sims garnered honorable mention recognition. Five of those seven members return to the field for the Lions in 2003.

NSCAA Team Academic Award

The Loyola Marymount women's soccer team capped off its most successful season in program history by earning an NSCAA Team Academic Award. The Lions, who finished 2002 with a 10-7-3 Overall/3-3-1 WCC and their first ever appearance in the NCAA College Cup tournament, were among 213 women's programs earning the award. In order to qualify a team must have achieved a 3.0 GPA or higher during the 2001-02 academic year. LMU, with a 3.20 team GPA, was one of only two West Coast Conference institutions to qualify for the honor. The University of Portland was the other registering a 3.33 team GPA.

Trask Earns SoccerBuzz Honor

Loyola Marymount junior defender Laura Trask was named second-team All-West Region by Soccer Buzz Magazine. Trask became just the fifth Lion to earn Soccer Buzz All-Region, following Shari Nishikawa and Tracy Sharp's selections in 2000. Trask was also named first-team All-West Coast Conference after starting all 20 games for the Lions this season. The El Cajon, Calif., native had two goals and one assist for five points. It was Trask's third straight All-WCC selection, but her first time as a first team member. As a freshman and sophomore she was a second-team honoree.

Freshmen Shine

Freshman Kellie Schroeder continues to fuel the Lion offense. Schroeder pushed her team leading goals total to six with the goal she collected against San Francisco. It was her third game-winning goal of the season, which is tied for third in the WCC. The other two came in games against UC Irvine (10/10/02) and Gonzaga (10/20/02). Schroeder is part of the Lion recruiting class that was ranked as the seventh best incoming class by Soccer Buzz magazine. The Albuquerque, N.M., native leads the team with 12 points this season. Fellow freshman Kelly Lewandowski is second on the squad with nine points and four goals, while Jessica Hanson leads the squad with 18 shots on goal. LMU freshmen have combined for 30 of the team's 60 points.

Close Calls

A 0-0 tie with Saint Mary's in the final game of the regular season was par for the course for the Lions in 2002. Of LMU's 19 games, 16 were decided by one goal or less, including 15 straight. Of those 16 games, the Lions won eight and tied two.

Nishikawa Cracks The Record Book

Junior Shari Nishikawa's continues to inch her way up the all-time charts at LMU. The five assists she picked up last year gives her a total of eight career assists, which launched her into the top-10 on the all-time chart at LMU. Nishikawa is currently eighth on the career assists list tied with former Lion Bree McCann (1996-99). Nishikawa's team leading five assists last year was also among the best in the WCC. She finished 2002 just four assists shy from claiming the top spot in the single-season record book. The current single-season record of eight was set by Cindy Carullo (1993-96) in 1993 and then matched by Jessica Lyon (1995-98) in 1997.

Extra Time...Again

The Lions played in six overtime matches last season. LMU was not phased by the extra frame, if anything the extra minutes in the sudden victory atmosphere just fed the Lions' frenzy. The Lions did not lose an overtime game last season, scoring two goals and owning a 3-0-3 record when playing in the extra stanzas.

Defense Stands Strong

The Lions defense continues to be one of the best in the WCC. LMU finished 2002 ranked third in the WCC in goals against average (0.85) and allowed the third fewest goals (18) of any WCC member. Lion goalkeepers Elizabeth Skhal and Kelly Yukihiro combined for 10 shutouts last season, just behind Portland for the league lead. The 10 shutouts in 20 games tied for 18th nationally.

LMU Head Coach

Gregg Murphy enters his eighth year at the helm of the LMU women's soccer program. Under Murphy the Lions have enjoyed unprecedented success, posting winning seasons in all but two of his years in Westchester and making their first ever postseason appearance in 2002. Murphy's record at LMU now stands at 70-50-11, while his career coaching record, which spans 13 seasons, stands at 128-102-15. An outstanding recruiter, Murphy's 2003 class was ranked 10th best in the West Region and 39th nationally by SoccerBuzz magazine. Murphy is a 1986 graduate of Chapman University.

Lions On The Web

Can't make it to a game? Not to worry. Now you can follow all the Lions home games and WCC away games live on the internet! Just log on to www.LMULions.com and catch each goal, assist, save and corner kick through the Lions' live stats programs. It's the next best thing to being there, so don't miss it!!

Meeting The Matadors

Cal State Northridge comes to Sullivan Field after finishing 2002 with a 3-13-2 overall record. The Matadors return six of last year's starters and are being directed by interim Head Coach Mac Thompson. Following four seasons as an assistant coach, Thompson was named the head coach just weeks before the season opener with the departure of Allison Leo. Friday's contest marks the seventh meeting between the two programs. The Lions have never lost to the Matadors owning a perfect 6-0-0 advantage in the all-time series.

Meeting The Mustangs

Cal Poly opens its season at home and hosts Nevada before welcoming the Lions on Sunday at Mustang Stadium. The Mustangs finished 2002 with a 14-7-0 record and was an NCAA College Cup participant last season. Cal Poly fell to Stanford, 4-0, in the opening round. The Mustangs return six starters and 18 letterwinners from last year's squad, including three All-Big West performers. Cal Poly is led by Alex Crozier who is in his 12th year with the Mustangs. The Lions and the Mustangs have met on six prior occasions with Cal Poly leading the series 5-1-0. LMU's only victory against the Mustangs came in a 2-1 win at Sullivan Field in 2001.




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