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California Cougars Weekly Report

March 26, 2008 - Major Indoor Soccer League 2 (MISL 2) - California Cougars News Release

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Lilavois reaches milestone, Cougars fall 29-12

Stockton, CA - Mar. 22, 2008 - A 21 point first half of play was more than enough for the first place Detroit Ignition (19-7) as they pick up their ninth road win of the season, 29-12, over the California Cougars (9-18) at Stockton Arena. Coach Bernie Lilavois led the Cougars with seven points. His second quarter goal counted for point number 901 in his professional indoor soccer career. Jamar Beasley led the Ignition with five goals for 11 points in the Detroit victory. Beasley was named the MISL offensive player of the week for his efforts.

Game Preview

DATE & TIME: Friday, March 28th, 5:00 p.m. (pst)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Sears Centre (11,000) - Hoffman Estates. Radio: www.californiacougars.net.

Overall Record: Chicago 14-13, California 9-18. Home Record: Chicago 8-6, California 5-8. Away Record: Chicago 6-7, California 4-10. 2007-08 Series Record: Chicago Leads 2-1. All-Time Series Record: Chicago Leads: 10-5

The non-playoff hopeful California Cougars take on the playoff hopeful Chicago Storm with three game losing streaks in common between the two teams. Playoff hopes seem to be the major difference between the two teams. The Storm is one win away from clinching their third straight playoff appearance. The Cougars, on the other hand, head toward their final three games with the hopes of surpassing their club high of 10 wins in a season. California sits at a disappointing nine wins through 27 played in the third season of existence. The Storm are just one game above .500 at 14-13.

Recent stretches of critical losses are also common between the two clubs. Chicago, New Jersey, California and Orlando are the only MISL teams to have sub-.500 records over their last ten games played. Chicago is just 3-7 over their last 10. New Jersey, the same team that holds the sixth and final playoff spot, is also 3-7 in their last 10. California is 2-8 and Orlando is a league worst 1-9.

Those same four clubs have been less than stellar on the defensive side of the ball over their last five games. Orlando has allowed a league worst 20.8 points per match over their last five played. California is not far behind with an 18.2 points allowed average, New Jersey is next at 16.6 and then Chicago at 14.2. The Philadelphia KiXX is 5-5 over their last 10 played. They have allowed an average of 13.43 per match over their last five and 12.92 over the last 10.

Chicago's defense has not been much better than their offense over the last 10 games played. They are tied with New Jersey at 13 points allowed per match over their last 10. The Cougars are behind the Sharks for the league's worst defense (18.1) over the last 10 played at 17.2 points allowed.

It should be no surprise that the first two teams to have clinched a postseason berth are the same two teams that have averaged fewer than 10 points allowed over both their last five and 10 matches played. Milwaukee has allowed an average of eight points over their last five games and 8.6 over their last 10. Detroit has allowed a league best seven points over their last five played and 9.4 over their last 10. Both teams are a superb 8-2 over their last 10 matches played. Detroit is coming off a 29-12 defeat of the Cougars at Stockton Arena on March 22, 2008. The defeat was the worst suffered by the Cougars in their three year history. The 29 points scored by the Ignition was the highest total amount of points and goals (13) allowed by the Cougars in the franchise's history.

The Storm offense has left little to be proud of over their last five matches. They've averaged just 7.8 points scored during the five game stretch, and 9.7 over their last 10. That of course includes a February 15 (9-8) loss to California at Stockton Arena. The Cougars have averaged 11 points forced over their last 10, and 12 over their last five in comparison.

The Cougars will be incredibly short handed in their match with Chicago. Their usual roster scratches: Vicente Figueroa (Knee), Chris Handsor (Thigh), Naldo (Face) and Eduardo Velez (Knee) are joined by Pedro Lupercio and potentially by Brian Farber and Nelson Santana. Both Lupercio and Farber suffered injuries during Saturday's loss. Lupercio tore the meniscus in his left knee, an injury the will require surgery. Farber (strained hamstring/knee) and Santana (knee) are listed as Doubtful for both Friday and Sunday's match.

The Cougars face the Orlando Sharks at Stockton Arena on Sunday, March 30 at 6:15 p.m. PST. The match will mark the return of defender Matt Caution to the Stockton turf for the first time since being released by the team on March 3, 2008.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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