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March 20, 2008 - Major Indoor Soccer League 2 (MISL 2) - California Cougars News Release

Last Game:

Stockton, CA - Mar. 16, 2008 - The city of Stockton and the 4,503 in attendance at Stockton Arena were treated to perhaps the most thrilling indoor soccer match of the Major Indoor Soccer League season on Sunday night. Unfortunately, the California Cougars (9-17) came out on the losing end against the playoff bound Baltimore Blast (16-9). The Cougars cut a 13 point deficit in the third quarter to five points in the fourth, but lose 26-23 in the final meeting of the season between Baltimore and California.

Baltimore forward Denison Cabral had six goals for 12 points in the match. Cougars head coach Bernie Lilavois led his team with six points including two two-point goals and two assists. Assistant coach Antonio Sutton and Brian Farber both chipped in with four points each. The two teams combined for 49 points on 54 shots. It was the highest scoring match ever played at Stockton Arena. The Blast had owned the league's best defense with a nine points allowed average before the start of the match.

Game Preview DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 22nd, 7:15 p.m. (pst)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Stockton Arena (10,000) - Stockton, California. Radio: KSTN 1420AM.

Overall Record: Detroit 18-7, California 9-17. Home Record: Detroit 10-3, California 5-7. Away Record: Detroit 8-4, California 4-10. 2007-08 Series Record: Detroit Leads 2-1. All-Time Series Record: Detroit Leads: 5-4

Pride and respect are on the line Saturday night as the Cougars host the Detroit Ignition for the final time. California (9-17) was eliminated from playoff contention, after their thrilling 26-23 loss to Baltimore last Sunday. Nine different Cougars players registered at least one goal in the historic match. California's 11 goals is the season high and franchise record for the third year franchise. California has defeated the first place Ignition (18-7) once already this season. The 20-11 win on January 4, however, seems like a distant memory. The Cougars left Detroit at the beginning of 2008 with a 7-4 record and were just a handful of games out of first place. Since that victory the Cougars have lost nine straight road games and have just two wins over their last 15 games.

The Cougars struggled mightily against the Ignition in their most recent match. They were able to score 11 points in the loss, including nine in the third quarter. But, for the second time this season, the Cougars lost to Detroit 24-11. Detroit has outscored the Cougars 54-11 and out shot the Cougars 112-78 in three games. Detroit has won 10 of their last 14 since losing to the Cougars on January 4.

In typical fashion, the Cougars will be without two of their key offensive threats. Forward Enrique Tovar and midfielder Nelson Santana will both miss the game because of red card suspensions issued to them during the Cougars 26-23 loss to Baltimore on Sunday night. Without "Qeeks," coach Lilavois and rookie Garth Archibald will play extended minutes as targets in the match on Saturday night. Both players excelled in Sunday's loss. Archibald recorded a goal and an assist in his second pro game. Lilavois led the Cougars with six points and is just four shy of 900 career points in his professional career.

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