SMC men’s soccer to face top-ranked Stanford

Coming off its 2-2 draw at No. 23 (Soccer America) Cal yesterday, the Saint Mary’s men’s soccer team now turns its attention to another Bay Area rival.

The Gaels travel to Cagan Stadium Sunday for a 5 p.m. kickoff against defending national champion and No. 1 ranked Stanford.  The match will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network with Troy Clardy and Cobi Jones calling the action.  Live online coverage is available by clicking here.

Saint Mary’s men’s soccer has played the No. 1 ranked team in the nation on five occasions in program history with three 1-goal losses.

1980 vs. San Francisco (0-6 loss in Moraga)
1989 vs. Santa Clara (0-1 loss in Moraga)
1995 vs. Virginia (3-2 OT loss in Moraga)
2002 vs. Stanford (1-0 loss in Berkeley)
2011 vs. North Carolina (2-0 loss in Chapel Hill – NCAA quarterfinals)

Stanford Match Notes:  Like Cal, SMC is playing Stanford (18-2-2, 7-1-2 1st in Pac-12 Conference in 2015) for the first time since the 2010 season … The Cardinal owns a 22-4-1 series edge in the 27 previous meetings between the two teams, dating back to the first matchup in 1978 … Stanford won its first men’s soccer national title last season (2015) with a 4-0 victory over Clemson in the title game in Kansas City … Saint Mary’s has played the defending national champion on six previous occasions (1979, San Francisco; 1981, San Francisco; 1990, Santa Clara;  1991, UCLA; 1995, Virginia; 1998, UCLA) … SMC is 0-5 against the No. 1 team in the nation all-time … The last time SMC faced the No. 1 team was a 0-2 loss at North Carolina in the 2011 NCAA Elite Eight … SMC dropped an 0-1 loss to Stanford when the Cardinal were No. 1 in 2002 … The highest ranked team SMC has beaten was then No. 4 Washington in 2014 (2-1 OT win in Seattle) … The Cardinal went unbeaten in Cagan Stadium in 2015 and is 19-1-6 in its last 26 matches at home … Stanford is ranked No. 1 by the NSCAA and No. 2 by Soccer America preseason polls … Stanford tied Penn State 0-0 Friday night in its season opener … Sunday’s match is the second of 4-straight against teams ranked among Soccer America’s preseason top 25.

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Rowland signs to play professionally in Russia

Former Saint Mary’s guard E.J. Rowland has signed to play with Russian side BC Khimki of the VTB United League.  He played last season at Hapoel Jerusalem in Israel, where he averaged 11.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game.  He helped lead Hapoel to the league final and played 16 games in EuroCup.  He is a 3-time honorable mention all-EuroCup honoree.

Rowland’s Professional Journey
2005-2006 – Florida Flame (D-League, USA)
2006-2007 – Sydney Kings, Townsville Crocodiles (Australia)
2007 – Barons LMT (Latvia)
2007-2008 – Artland Dragons (Germany),
2008-2009 – Telekom Baskets Bonn (Germany)
2009-2011 – Vanoli Cremona (Italy)
2011-2012 – Unicaja Malaga (Spain)
2012-2013 – VEF Riga (Latvia)
2013-2015 – Banvit (Turkey)
2012-2016 – Hapoel Jerusalem (Israel)
2016 – BC Khimki (Russia)

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SMC men’s soccer faces daunting early schedule

Despite having a roster that includes 18 players making their collegiate debut this season, Saint Mary’s men’s soccer coach Adam Cooper laid down a significant early season challenge to his team.

The Gaels open the season Friday against the first of four consecutive opponents ranked among the preseason national top 25 by Soccer America.

Friday’s match at No. 23 Cal (4:30 p.m., Edwards Stadium) is followed by a 5 p.m. contest Sunday at defending national champion and No. 2 ranked Stanford (No. 1 in the NSCAA poll).

Next week, the Gaels open their home schedule against 19th ranked Washington (Thursday, 4:30 p.m.) then travel to face No. 11 UC Santa Barbara in a Sunday night match (7 p.m., Harder Stadium).

Friday, Aug. 26 at No. 23 Cal – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 28 at No. 2 Stanford – 5 p.m.
*Thursday, Sept. 1 vs. No. 19 Washington – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 4 at No. 11 UC Santa Barbara – 7 p.m.
*In Saint Mary’s Stadium

For tickets to Saint Mary’s home games, click here or call the SMC Athletic Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx (4689).

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Men’s soccer coaches propose playing season changes

Division 1 Men’s college coaches of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) launched an informational campaign for a proposed playing season model that addresses the traditional compressed NCAA fall soccer season and tackles issues of health, safety and time demands of student-athletes.

Called the Academic Year Season Model, it would reduce the number of fall games, create a winter break, add games in the spring, reduce weekday games and bring the championship to June.  An informational video on the model is available here.

70% of male players and 90% of Division 1 coaches approved of the extended season model in results of an NCAA survey done earlier this year that focused on school/sports balance and other lifestyle, health, and player development issues. This effort is only to change the D1 men’s season, leaving other NCAA divisions in their current format.

An FAQ on the Academic Year Season Model is available here.

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Walker begins handball journey in Canada

Saint Mary’s women’s lacrosse soon-to-be sophomore Ashley Walker begins her adventure today in a new sport – team handball – at the International Handball Federation Trophy Tournament in Drumondville, Quebec, just outside of Montreal.

Walker is playing with the U.S. junior national team at the tournament, which plays into the weekend. Walker has never played team handball, but got the opportunity to tryout in her hometown of Colorado Springs, Colo., through family friend Kathy Rex, who is the head coach of the team.

Walker and Team USA begin their tournament play today (Thursday) at 3:30 p.m. PDT versus host Canada. They will play again on Friday and Saturday against to-be-determined opponents, each time at 11 a.m. PDT. All matches will be streamed live online.

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Boomers keep rolling, face Serbia in Olympic semifinals

Behind the 39 points of former Saint Mary’s stars Patrick Mills (24) and Matthew Dellavedova (15), the Australian National Team convincingly defeated Lithuania 90-64 to advanced to the Olympic semifinals.

The win places the men in the semifinals for the first time since Sydney 2000 and for just the fourth time overall while they now have a chance to play for their first ever medal.

The Boomers will face Serbia in the semifinals Friday at 3 p.m. (PT) on CNBC, while Team USA plays Spain in the other semi at 11:30 a.m. (NBCSN).

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Boomers headed to Olympic quarterfinals

After finishing just one point behind Team USA in Group A, the Australian National Team, led by former Saint Mary’s guards Patrick Mills and Matthew Dellavedova, have advanced to the quarterfinals at the Rio Olympic Games.

The Boomers will face Lithuania, which finished third in Group B but tied for the top spot on points, tomorrow at 7 a.m. (Pacific).  The game will be televised on USA Network as well as on NBC’s basketball specific channel (not available on Comcast).

Other quarterfinal games include Croatia vs Serbia (6:15 p.m.), Spain vs. France (10:30 a.m.) and Team USA vs. Argentina (2:45 p.m.).  Tournament semifinals are scheduled for Friday with bronze and gold medal games taking place Sunday.

Australia finished 4-1 in the group stage, their equal-best record ever at the Olympics, with an 81-56 win over Venezuela on Sunday.

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