GAME PREVIEW Loyola Marymount vs Texas game time: 7 pm
After two strong showings in the preseason, the Horns look dialed in and ready to go for Friday night.
Loyola Marymount, from Los Angeles, is coming off of a 10-6-2 season last year, finishing 4th in the West Coast Conference (WCC), a tough league which is home to perennial powerhouse, Portland.
Here is the jungle that the Lions live in … (WCC standings at end of last year).
Portland 18 – 1 – 1
Santa Clara 12 – 6 – 2
San Diego 11 – 7 – 2
Loyola Marymount 10 – 6 – 2
Pepperdine 9 – 6 – 5
Gonzaga 8 – 11– 1
Saint Mary’s 8 - 7 – 4
San Francisco 5 – 13 – 2
The standout player for LMU is Tawni Martino (#22) who was the top scorer last year as a freshman netting 8 goals and making 3 assists. The next highest scorers on the list had a third as many goals each.
The entire back line returns this year for the Lions as well as most of the midfielders. But of the eight scorers other than Tawni Martino for the Lions last year, I could only find two on the current roster, defender Etajha Gilmer and midfielder Darien Pyka.
Of other note is that LMU played last year’s National Champs at home in L.A. last season in a close game with Notre Dame winning only 1-0. (Taylor Knaack was on the ND team.) Returning LMU goalkeeper, Brittany Jagger, stopped 9 shots in that game.
Probably the most significant difficulty for Loyola Marymount in Friday night’s game against Texas is that LMU hasn’t played any preseason games. According to their coach, Joe Mallia, this is going to be the greatest challenge for the team to overcome as Texas will be their first game overall.
But Texas will need to come out prepared. The Horns must start strong, and not take the Lions lightly at all.
Playing in a tough conference with Portland means the Lions understand how to battle. The fact that they haven’t played a single preseason game means we know nothing about their readiness, and they could be more than ready to rise to the challenge.
Texas player notes:
Alexa Gaul is expected to start in goal for the Horns.
Come out and support the Horns on Friday night. The home stadium has a fun, intimate atmosphere for Texas Soccer, and parking is available right next to the stadium.
Tickets for adults are only $7 and for kids only $4.
There’s a red marker on this Google map showing the entrance to the closest parking garage to the stadium. It’s super easy, and you’re going to have a great time.
If you’re at the stadium and would like to say hi, write me @LonghornSoccer (also add me so I can write you back on DM).
I’ll be live tweeting from the game at @LonghornSoccer, I'll be wearing a Longhorns shirt (duh!), and I’ll either be taking pictures on the sideline or in the bleachers scribbling notes.