Sept. 22, 2008
MEN'S SOCCER: Lutes Finish Three-Match NWC Road Stretch
THIS WEEK: Pacific Lutheran at Whitman, Saturday, 2:30 p.m.; Pacific Lutheran at Whitworth, Sunday, 2:30 p.m.
LUTES TRY TO GET THEIR FIRST WIN ON THE ROAD: With the longest road trip of the season coming to a close this week, the Lutes (0-0-1) will be battle tested when they go up against Whitman and Whitworth, who finished fifth and first, respectively, in the 2007 conference standings. Last year, the Lutes were 1-1 against Whitworth with the win coming in a double-overtime thriller in Spokane. The Lutes went 2-0 against Whitman, shutting them out both times.
ABOUT THE MISSIONARIES: Last year, Whitman had a higher goal percentage average than their opponents. That means that they did a very good job keeping their opponent at bay, holding them below a 10 percent success rate on their shot attempts. Much of that credit goes to their outstanding and acrobatic goalkeeper, Brett Axelrod, a second team all-conference choice in 2007. Junior Forward Todd Wallenius is tied for third in goals scored among conference players with four, so the Lutes will have their hands full trying to keep him at bay.
ABOUT THE PIRATES: The Pirates enter the season as the most feared team in the conference, holding the lead in five of the NWC's six offensive categories. With an overall record of 6-0-1, and a conference record of 2-0, it's needless to say that the Lutes will have some work to do. Also consider that the teams have played three common opponents - Cal State-East Bay, Gustavus Adolphus and Wisconsin-Whitewater - and that Whitworth has three wins while the Lutes have three losses. It should be noted, however, that all of those games were played in Spokane, home contests for Whitworth and neutral-site matches for PLU. Caleb Barnhill leads a potent Whitworth offense with six goals while John Prugh has four goals and two assists and Elly Bulega has three goals and two assists. Brian Sherpe has spent most of the time in goal and has a skimpy 0.21 goals against average.
POPCORN ANYONE?: Last week, the Lutes and the Pacific Boxers battled to a 0-0 tie in double overtime to start NWC play. The Lutes had nine shots on goal and Pacific goalie Andrew Stevermer finished with an impressive seven saves, collecting his second shutout of the season. But the day belonged to Pacific Lutheran's goalie, Daniel Mangum, who made 11 saves on the afternoon. For his work, Mangum earned NWC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
LUTES BY THE NUMBERS: Freshman Ricky Morales comes into this week having the highest goals (2), and shot percentage (.500). Also at two goals are sophomore Daniele Zaccagnini and freshman Spencer Augustin. Last week, PLU goalie Daniel Mangum had a goals against average of 1.44, but after last week's impressive shutout of Pacific, Mangum brought that average down to 1.15.
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