Punahou graduate boosts Loyola Marymount soccer
By Dennis Anderson
Advertiser Staff Writer
Dreams are coming true for the Loyola Marymount University men's soccer team, and junior goalkeeper Adam Sthay of Honolulu.
The Lions, who have never had a winning season in the West Coast Conference, have not lost a game this year and are ranked seventh in NCAA Division I by the National Soccer Coaches Association with an 11-0-2 record.
They beat the preseason WCC favorite, 12th-ranked San Diego, 3-2, in two overtimes Sunday in their conference opener.
The Lions leaped onto the national stage when they beat No. 3 UCLA, 2-0, on Sept. 22. They moved up the rankings as they beat other "name" teams and dealt then-No. 25 UC-Santa Barbara its first defeat, 1-0, on Oct. 6.
"Four years ago," recalls Sthay, a 1999 Punahou graduate from 'Aina Haina, "our recruiting class sat around and talked about how it would be in our senior year, what could happen. Our dreams are coming true."
Sthay redshirted his freshman year and hardly played the last two seasons. "We had two talented goalkeepers ahead of me the last three years," says the 6-2, 170-pound athlete. "It was difficult to wait. All I had to look forward to was to hope that once I got my shot that I would play and perform."
That he has done. Sthay has a 7-0-1 record in goal with three shutouts and has allowed an average of 0.65 goals per game. He has saved 80.6 percent of the shots on his goal.
The key to Sthay's success, his coaches and teammates agree, is communication.
"He organizes (the defense) very well," coach Paul Krumpe says. "When goalkeepers do a good job of organizing, problems are solved before they become problems and their jobs are easier."
The statistics prove out Krumpe's theory. Sthay has had to make only 25 saves in 826 minutes because he deploys his teammates so efficiently in front of him.
"Adam sees everything and tells everyone where to go," says LMU sweeper Michael Erush of Sherman Oaks, Calif. "He loves the game and plays with passion. ... He loses his voice every game."
Sthay says the key to the Lions' success this season has been team chemistry. "We bonded real well," he says. "We all hang out together. We all shaved our heads even the coaches shaved their heads."
CORNER KICKS: Loyola, which is ranked second behind Stanford (11-1) in the Far West, plays always powerful Portland (8-4-1) in Los Angeles this weekend. ... Gonzaga senior Mike McCarthy (Kalaheo '99) leads West Coast Conference goalkeepers in saves with 6.10 per game. ... Adam Sthay is tied for first in shutouts with three; the Loyola Marymount record is 5.5. ... Besides Loyola Marymount, there are three undefeated men's teams remaining in the nation: No. 2 Wake Forest (9-0-2), No. 10 Bradley (11-0-3) and No. 18 Coastal Carolina (11-0-1).