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Two Tough Opponents Await Lutes in Spokane

Shane Gutierrez (7)

COMING UP: Coming off a 1-2 season-opening road trip to Minnesota, the Pacific Lutheran men's soccer team faces a pair of tough opponents when it plays in the Whitworth Soccer Classic in Spokane, Wash. The Lutes battle Wheaton (Ill.), ranked No. 7 in the NSCAA Division III Top 25 poll at 3 p.m. Friday, and 24 hours later they take on Corban, a regional NAIA power from Salem, Ore.

LIVE STATS: PLU soccer fans can follow live stats from the Whitworth Soccer Classic by clicking here.

LISTEN LIVE: Most PLU men's soccer home matches and some road contests can be heard on the internet by going to www.golutes.com, clicking on the Listen Live button on the right, and then clicking on the appropriate link. Veteran play-by-play announcer Landyn Rookard will be joined this year by color commentator Surafel Wodajo, a former PLU all-conference midfielder, in bringing you the action.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: As mentioned, Wheaton College comes into the weekend tournament with a 2-0 overall record with wins over Kalamazoo (3-0) and Principia (4-2). Josh Clark has three goals and Chad Musgraves two goals and two assists in the first two matches. Ryan Seager picked up the shutout victory against Kalamazoo but didn't play against Principia. The Thunder particpated in NCAA Division III postseason play most recently in 2008 and 2009. Corban University enters the Whitworth Soccer Classic with a 1-0-1 record, including a 6-0 home win over Trinity Lutheran and a 1-1 away overtime tie with the same club. Seven different Warriors have scored goals and Steven Mason comes in with a 0.48 goals against average. Corban plays Whitworth on Friday before meeting the Lutes on Saturday.

WHERE THE LUTES RANK: PLU opened the season ranked No. 25 in the NSCAA Division III Top 25 but dropped out after losing two of three matches in Minnesota. The Lutes are ranked No. 6, however, in the NSCAA West Region poll.

MANNY GOALS FROM AMARH: Emmanuel Amarh, a freshman from Norway known by his PLU teammates as Manny, leads the Lutes with a pair of goals. Head coach John Yorke this is just the beginning of "manny" goals from the exciting Norwegian.

PLU 1, HAMLINE 0: Junior goalkeeper Joe Rayburn and the Pacific Lutheran defense recorded a shutout as the Lutes opened their 2012 season with a 1-0 victory over host Hamline on the opening day of the Twin Cities Soccer Kickoff Classic. The Lutes controlled most of the action as Rayburn was called on to make just one save while playing the full 90 minutes. The game's only goal came at 76:15 when Giancarlo Santoro took a pass from Justin Manao on the left, touched the ball inside to his right foot and then hit a hard, dipping shot from about 25 yards past Hamline keeper Eric Feil. Santoro's goal was reward for second half dominance that saw the Lutes out-shoot the Pipers, 12-1, in the final 45 minutes.

AUGSBURG 2, PLU 1: Pacific Lutheran finished the Twin Cities Soccer Kickoff Classic with a 1-1 record after dropping a 2-1 decision to Augsburg. Emmanuel Amarh gave PLU an early lead, but Augsburg scored a pair of goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half to beat the Lutes. PLU ended up with a 7-6 advantage in shots and also had 11 corner kicks to just three for the Auggies.

ST. OLAF 3, PLU 2 IN OVERTIME: A deflection on a clearance bounced over the head of Pacific Lutheran goalkeeper Joe Rayburn, giving St. Olaf a 3-2 overtime win in a non-conference men's soccer match played last Monday morning in Northfield. The own goal, which came just 1:37 into the first overtime period, handed St. Olaf its second overtime win against PLU in the past three seasons. PLU junior forward Derek Johnson netted for the first time this season at 61:42 to tie the match at 1-1, and freshman forward Emmanuel Amarh notched his second of the campaign at 79:44 to give PLU a 2-1 advantage. Shane Gutierrez was credited with the assist on Amarh's tally. The host Oles made it 2-2 with less than four minutes remaining in regulation and then won it less than two minutes into overtime. PLU outshot St. Olaf, 14-11, and forced keeper Harry Ullman to make seven saves. Rayburn finished with four saves and his defense cleared another goal-bound effort off of the line. St. Olaf had an 11-5 advantage in corner kicks.

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