Chaps host nationally ranked Mustangs in rematch of 2021 LSC Championship

LUBBOCK, Texas – For the second straight match, the Lubbock Christian men’s soccer team hosts a nationally ranked opponent, closing out nonconference play against no. 4 Midwestern State in a rematch of the 2021 LSC Championship game.

Yeah. 4 Midwestern State (6-0-1) at Lubbock Christian (3-4-1)
Saturday, Sept. 24 – 3:30 PM
Lubbock, Texas – LCU Soccer & Track Facility

CHAP HEADERS
• Lubbock Christian is coming off a 2-1 victory over no. 18 West Texas A&M. Tariq Bakkali assisted Jeremy Chua on the first goal of the match, before scoring the second goal for the Chaps off a penalty kick in the second half.

Jasper Reese has played all 90 minutes in every single match so far this season. The last time Reese came off the pitch in a start for the Chaps was in the 60th minute on Nov. 3, 2021 against Texas Permain Basin

• With a goal and an assist against West Texas A&M, Tariq Bakkali became just the second Chap in program history to record 50 points in a career. His 51 points rank second all-time, while he sits tied with Nick Gorrie for third most shot attempts in program history with 102 for his career. With two shots on goal against the Buffs, Bakkali is now tied with Jorge Martinez for fourth most shots on goal in program history with 41.

BAKKALI IS BALLIN ‘
With a goal and an assist against West Texas A&M, Tariq Bakkali became just the second LCU player in program history to record at least 50 career points, with 51 during his time in Hub City. Bakkali’s 22 career goals rank second all time, while his 102 career shots are tied for third with Nick Gorrie all-time. His 41 shots on goal are tied with Jorge Martinez for fourth all-time.

IT’S NEVER EASY
The Chaps are currently facing their second straight team to be ranked inside the United Soccer Coaches Top 25. As of press time, the Chaps have four matches against currently ranked foes remaining, with two matchups against no. 4 Midwestern State and conference matches scheduled against no. 17 Oklahoma Christian and no. 24 St. Mary’s. LCU fell 1-0 earlier in the year to no. 25 CSU Pueblo before knocking off no. 18 West Texas A&M 2-1 later in the year. The Chaps are 5-14-1 all-time against nationally ranked teams, and 4-4-1 in their last nine matches.

FURTHER BACK
The Lubbock Christian men’s soccer program began in 2010 with a 3-1 win against the University of the Southwest (NM). On Nov. 9, 2021 in the opening round of the LSC Tournament, the Chaps won their 100th match in program history, rolling over UT Permian Basin 6-0. The Chap program enters the 2022 season with an overall record of 101-81-23.

ROAD WOES
The Chaps are currently 0-4 in true road matches, being outscored 9-1 this season. LCU’s last road win was an upset, a 4-2 win over no. 24 St. Mary’s in San Antonio on Oct. 30, 2021. LCU is 3-7-2 in their last 12 true road matches. Lubbock Christian has not had a winning record on the road since 2018 when the Chaps went 5-4-1.

IN THE MOUNTAIN AIR
LCU has played ten games in program history within the state of Colorado, going 5-9-0 there all time. The first-ever Chaparral trip to the Centennial State was a successful one, as they beat Colorado Christian 5-1 behind a hat trick from Mbongeni Ndlovu on Sept. 11, 2015. They also beat Adams State 2-1 on that 2015 trip. Last season, LCU went 1-1 in the Centennial State, falling 3-1 to Fort Lewis in Durango, while defeating Adams State 3-0 in Alamosa. The Chaps went 1-3 in Colorado this season, knocking off South Dakota Mines 4-0 in Denver, before dropping matches to MSU-Denver, UC-Colorado Springs and no. 25 CSU Pueblo on the road.

NEW YEAR, NEW TEAM
LCU will feature an astonishing 24 new players on the 2022 Fall roster. Of those new players, 12 are true freshmen, while the other 12 are transfers from either the junior college ranks or other universities. It is a diverse group, with seven players from Texas, four from England, four from Brazil, and the rest from Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico and Spain internationally, along with new faces from Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in the states.

PRESEASON POLL
For the first time since joining the Lone Star Conference, the Chaps earned a first-place vote in the preseason polls, slotted to finish fourth in the LSC this season. The last time the Chaps earned a first-place vote was prior to the 2014 season, when LCU earned four first-place votes and were predicted to finish second in the Heartland Conference.

THE CONE ERA HAS BEGUN
Collin Cone was hired as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at Lubbock Christian University in April of 2022, coming to LCU after leading the men’s soccer team at LeTourneau University for the last four seasons. He posted back-to-back winning records in 2021 and the 2020-21 season, and had the team improve in every year he was the head coach. The YellowJackets 6-5 showing in the 2020-21 season was the program’s first winning season since 2010.
– Cone also spent three years at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana. He played a key role in the recruiting efforts for the Lancers while working with the goalkeepers. In his final season at Grace, the Lancers won the Crossroads League Championship for the first time in 25 years and made it to the NAIA National Championship for the first time in 35 seasons. Cone’s time at Grace as a coach was marked by one conference championship, one NAIA national championship, two NCCAA National Tournaments, and two regional tournament titles.

SCOUTING THE MUSTANGS
– Midwestern State enters the match ranked no. 4 in the United Soccer Coaches Poll.
– The Mustangs were picked to repeat as Lone Star Conference Champions, voted first in the conference with 15 first-place votes
– Midwestern State enters the match 6-0-1 after knocking off no. 17 Oklahoma Christian 2-0 in a nonconference match in Wichita Falls.
– Goalkeeper Adam Braman ranks fifth in the country and first in the LSC with 4.1 shutouts this season. Braman’s 0.929 save percentage is third in all of Division-II and first in the Lone Star Conference.
– The preseason Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Year, Mere Escobar leads the Mustangs and ranks second in the Lone Star Conference with five goals this season. His 12 total points are also second in the LSC so far this year.
– The Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year for 2021, Michael Meacheum enters his fifth season in Wichita Falls. The Mustangs registered a 16-3-1 record in the 2021 season, going 7-1-0 in Lone Star Conference play winning the league’s regular season and postseason tournament championships. As the No. 1 seed in the South Central Region, Midwestern State earned a first round bye for the NCAA postseason tournament. The Mustangs fell in the second round to Cal Poly Pomona. Meachum helped forward Trevor Amann to All-American honors with a D2CCA first team and United Soccer Coaches second team accolades. MSU finished the year ranked 22nd in the United Soccer Coaches Poll. Prior to being named head coach of the Stangs, Meachum was an assistant for MSU and helped lead the program to six NCAA Tournament appearances and a 103-19-13 (.811) mark.

THE SERIES WITH THE MUSTANGS
The Mustangs lead the all-time series with the Chaps 7-0-3. The two teams last met in the Lone Star Conference Championship match, a scoreless draw through 110 minutes before Midwestern State won 5-4 on penalty kicks to clinch the conference tournament championship. Lubbock Christian has not scored a goal against Midwestern State that was not during a PK shootout since the 70th minute of the match on Oct. 3, 2019. That is 1,087 days or 400: 21 of game action.

A WIN WOULD
– Be the second straight win for the Chaps over a nationally ranked opponent
– Be the first win ever against Midwestern State
– Give the Chaps a win over their highest ranked opponent (beat no. 6 West Texas A&M 3-0 on Oct. 8, 2021) (Tied no. 2 Midwestern State 1-1 on Oct. 5, 2015)

UP NEXT
Conference play opens for the Chaps on the road in a rivalry rematch with West Texas A&M in Canyon, Texas on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 3:30 PM

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