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Freshman Alex Braman (15) will be one of several Gaels making their first road trip this weekend.
Freshman Alex Braman (15) will be one of several Gaels making their first road trip this weekend.
MSOC | Gaels Looking Forward To Top-25 Challenge
Release: Friday 09/05/2013 
by SMC Athletics

MORAGA, Calif. -- The undefeated Saint Mary's men's soccer team hits the road this weekend for just a single match - a Sunday afternoon meeting at 25th-ranked CSU Northridge.

The match, which will serve as the first collegiate road trip for a class of newcomers who made a significant impact in the Gaels' two victories last weekend, is scheduled for a 4 p.m. kickoff at Matador Soccer Field.  Links to live statistics and audio coverage of the match are available on the schedule page of SMCGaels.com.

"I'm excited about this weekend," said SMC head coach Adam Cooper.  "Northridge is in the top-25 right now.  They are very talented.  They won the Big West (Conference) last year.  They are already off to a flying start.  For us, it will be a very good test to play our first road game and see how we adapt.  It is going to be hot down in Los Angeles and Northridge has a lot of quality on the field."

The Gaels opened the season last Friday with a pair of impressive second-half performances.  After falling behind early to Air Force, SMC came alive in the second period to score twice in a 3-1 win over the Falcons.  On Sunday, the Gaels and LIU Brooklyn went into halftime tied at 0-0 but SMC score twice to come away with a 2-0 win.

Four of the Gaels' five goals and all seven assists on the weekend were scored by freshmen or sophomores.  Junior Bobby Conner scored SMC's first goal of the season, a 19th minute equalizer against Air Force, before the youth brigade came into its own.

Redshirt freshman Carlo Eikani, who attended the University of Portland last fall but did not play soccer, score twice and was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week.

After allowing Air Force to score in the third minute in Friday's opener, off a turnover in the Gaels' defensive end, junior goalkeeper Andre Rawls went just more than 177 minutes over the weekend without allowing another goal.

LIke Saint Mary's, CSU Northridge is 2-0 on the season after posting a pair of impressive victories at home against out-of-region opponents.  The Matadors opened the season Friday with a 3-0 shutout of Albany, then claimed a convincing 4-1 win over Memphis.

Junior forward Sagi Lev-Ari scored three times during opening weekend and was named to national teams of the week by Top Drawer Soccer and CollegeSoccerNews.com.  Senior midfielder Carlos Benavides led the Big West in assists the last two seasons and goalkeeper Adam Hobbs combined with teammate Damien Lewis to allow just one goal in the team's first two matches.

Saint Mary's returns home next weekend for a pair of bragging rights matches against local rivals UC Davis and Sacramento State.  For a complete schedule and ticket information, visit SMCGaels.com or call (925) 631-GoTx.