Pilots Hit the Road Once Again, Facing LMU

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Pilots Hit the Road Once Again, Facing LMU

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Match Preview: Portland Pilots vs. LMU Lions

  • Match Details:
    • Opponents: LMU Lions
    • Records: LMU Lions (6-5-1, 0-0-1 WCC)
    • Day: Saturday
    • Date: October 7, 2023
    • Time: 7:00 PM
    • Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
    • Venue: Sullivan Field
    • Broadcast: ESPN+
    • Statistics: PortlandPilots.com
  • Head-to-Head Record:
    • Overall Series: Portland 25 – 3 LMU
    • Home: 13-1-0
    • Away: 12-2-2
    • Neutral: 0-0-0
    • Last Meeting: POR 1 – 0 LMU (2022)

Key Points for the Week:

  • The Portland Pilots resume conference play against the LMU Lions in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 7 at 7 p.m.
  • Live streaming and real-time statistics will be available at PortlandPilots.com.

About the Portland Pilots:

  • Portland Pilots currently hold a 7-2-2 record, having recently suffered a 2-1 loss to the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
  • This loss put an end to their six-game shutout streak and an eight-game unbeaten run.
  • Despite this, the Pilots have only conceded four goals in 11 matches, the lowest since 2008.
  • Nationally, they rank second in goals conceded, third in goals-against average (.364), and lead the WCC in save percentage (.862).
  • MacKenzie Frimpong Ellertson scored Portland’s lone goal in the recent match.
  • Goalkeeper Bre Norris made a season-high seven saves.
  • Camille Ashe received WCC Defensive Player of the Week honors for her exceptional performance.
  • Nedya Sawan leads the Pilots with five goals and three assists, also topping the conference in game-winning goals.
  • Bre Norris leads the conference in goals-against average (.364), shutouts (8), and save percentage (.862).
  • Portland Pilots made a significant playoff appearance in 2022 after a long hiatus since 2013.
  • The team achieved a 12-5-4 record, the best since Michelle French took over as head coach.
  • They had a remarkable 13-game unbeaten streak, the longest since 2005 when they won the national championship.
  • Five players earned All-WCC honors, all of whom return this year.
  • Shay Adams was a standout defender, instrumental in recording 11 shutouts.
  • Bre Norris excelled in goalkeeping, with 90 saves and only 16 goals allowed.
  • Cally Togiai led the team in points, scoring six goals and providing four assists.
  • Isabella Yakel was a key player in both offense and defense.
  • Sophia Mattice contributed with one goal and multiple assists.
  • As a team, the Pilots ranked first in save percentage and second in goals-allowed average in the WCC.
  • They have a strong core of returning players complemented by new additions.
  • The Pilots are predicted to finish second in the WCC according to the preseason coaches’ poll, the highest since 2014.
  • Three players were named to the 2023 All-WCC Preseason Team: Norris, Togiai, and Nedya Sawan.
  • Sawan demonstrated her prowess as a forward, ranking high in goals and game-winning goals in previous seasons.
  • Nine returning players started in at least 10 matches.
  • Camille Ashe, a team captain in 2022, returns to fortify the backline.
  • Katana Norman, having played over 20 games last season, brings valuable experience.
  • Keeley Dockter was a pivotal figure in the midfield, contributing with both goals and assists.

Please note that all information is accurate as of the provided date and is subject to change.

About the Opponent:

  • The LMU Lions currently hold a 6-5-1 overall record, with a 0-0-1 standing in WCC play.
  • In the previous season, they finished with a 3-8-6 overall record and a 1-8-0 record in WCC play, securing the ninth position in the conference.
  • The Pilots clinched a 1-0 victory against the Lions in their conference opener last year.
  • LMU is currently under the guidance of Chris Chamides, who is in his second year as head coach.

The Coaching Staff:

  • Michelle French, an alumna of UP, is embarking on her sixth year as the head coach of the Pilots. During her tenure, she has accumulated a record of 52 wins, 38 losses, and 18 draws.
  • Prior to joining UP, French had an extensive 12-year coaching stint within the U.S. Soccer system, culminating as an assistant coach with the Senior Women’s National Team.
  • As a player for the Pilots from 1995 to 1998, French earned accolades as an All-American defender and was a finalist for National Player of the Year in her senior year. She led the Pilots to three NCAA Final Four appearances and a title game in 1995.
  • Maite Zabala and Logan Emory serve as associate head coaches for the women’s soccer program, each with six and five years of experience, respectively. They made history as the first associate head coaches in the program’s annals in the past year.
  • The coaching staff was honored with the title of West Region Staff of the Year by United Soccer Coaches, marking their inaugural reception of this recognition.
  • Tina Frimpong Ellertson, a former U.S. National Team player and Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2004, has joined the coaching staff this year.

The Rich History:

  • Portland boasts a storied tradition in women’s soccer and stands as one of only seven programs to have clinched multiple NCAA Championships in the sport (2002, 2005).
  • The Pilots have an illustrious history with eight appearances in the Final Four (1994-96, 1998, 2000-02, 2005) and 13 WCC Championships to their name.
  • Their postseason track record includes an impressive 22 appearances.
  • The Pilots held the distinction of leading the nation in attendance for an impressive 10 consecutive seasons (2005-14). In 2018, UP ranked fourth in the country for attendance per game (1,679) and sixth in overall attendance (18,474).

Pilots in the Professional Arena:

  • The Portland women’s soccer program has a strong legacy of producing players who go on to excel in professional leagues, both in the U.S. and Europe.
  • The Puget Sound area has been a favored destination for Portland alums, with eight women’s soccer graduates playing for the Reign.
  • Notable players include Megan Rapinoe, a national champion with the Pilots in 2005 and a cornerstone of the USWNT, currently featuring in the OL Reign roster.
  • Christine Sinclair, a legend of the sport, has spent her entire NWSL career with the Portland Thorns. She played a pivotal role in securing three NWSL Championships (2013, 2017, 2022) and two NWSL Shields in 2016 and 2021, along with the Women’s International Champions Cup.
  • Sophie Schmidt has been a vital presence in the midfield for the Houston Dash, contributing to their victory in the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup.
  • Other alumni have also made significant strides in professional leagues around the world, exemplifying the program’s strong legacy in women’s soccer.

Reference

portlandpilots.com/news/2023/10/6/womens-soccer-pilots-back-on-the-road-against-lmu.aspx

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