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Courtesy: WMU

Men's Soccer Hosts Detroit at Kalamazoo College Wednesday in Final Non-Conference Game

Courtesy: Kristin Keirns, associate director of athletic media relations
Release: 10/16/2012
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KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan (9-3-2) faces Detroit (6-6-0) Wednesday in the Broncos' final non-conference game of the season. The match will be played at 2 p.m. at MacKenzie Field on the campus of Kalamazoo College, adjacent to Western Michigan's main campus.

Heavy rain storms within the past week have resulted in unplayable field conditions at the WMU Soccer Complex, forcing Wednesday's game to be relocated to MacKenzie Field. The start time of the game has also been changed from 4 p.m. to 2 p.m. The WMU Soccer Complex is natural grass, while MacKenzie Field is a turf playing surface. For directions and parking information to MacKenzie Field, click here.

"We have had a good bit of time to recoup and make ourselves a better team since our last game," said WMU head coach Stu Riddle. "The boys are refreshed and excited for the difficult challenge Detroit will present on Wednesday."

Western Michigan did not have a game over the weekend, making Wednesday the team's first outing in a week. The Broncos defeated Cincinnati in double overtime on the road last Wednesday, 2-1.

Western Michigan remained ranked No. 8 in the NSCAA Great Lakes Regional poll this week. The Broncos receieved votes in the first poll of the season and since have been ranked in the last seven-straight weeks.

Owning a 9-3-2 record with five games left in the regular season, WMU is approaching the 10-win mark. If Western Michigan accomplishes the feat, it would be the second time in four seasons under head Stu Riddle the team has reached 10 wins, also doing so in 2010 with a 10-8-2 record. WMU has hit the 10-win plateau only one other time in the last 10 years, during the 2003 MAC Tournament Championship season, when the team posted a 12-7-2 record.

Western Michigan is in the top 30 in the nation in every offensive team statistical category, making the top 15 in two of those. The Bronco rank eighth in assists (29), 14th in total points (83), 16th in goals (27) and 28th in scoring offense (1.93 goals per game). Defensively, WMU ranks in the top 30 in two of the major categories, 21st in goals against average (0.74) and 30th in save percentage (.817).

Junior midfielder Ryan Lemasters leads the Mid-American Conference and is ranked 11th in the nation in total assists with seven. He also leads the MAC and is ranked 22nd in the nation in assists per game with 0.5.

Senior forward Shane Lyons leads Western Michigan with six goals this season and has two assists for a team-best 14 points. Lyons has scored all six goals in the last seven games after missing four contests with an injury. He has recorded at least one point in each of the last seven games, picking up an assist in the game he didn't tally a goal. Lyons had 19 career goals to his credit at WMU and seven game-winning goals, tying for second most in program history.

Three different Bronco players have been named MAC Player of the Week this year, which ties the school record for most in a season, set in 2003. Senior defender Darren Jones (9/6), senior forward Shane Lyons (9/25) and sophomore forward Jason Grant (10/9) have each earned the honor.

Junior keeper Sean Lewis has played all but two halves in goal for Western Michigan this season, logging 1108:22 minutes. Lewis totes a 0.81 goals against average and a .815 save percentage. He made a season-high eight saves in a 1-1 tie against West Virginia on Sept. 29.

Detroit is 6-6-0 on the season and is coming off a 2-0 win at Wright State on Oct. 12. The Titans had dropped their previous two matches, falling at Michigan State, 1-0, on Oct. 10 and at home against Oakland, 4-0, on Oct. 3. Detroit is 3-0 in Horizon League play and 3-6 in non-conference play. The team has a 3-4 overall road record. As a team, Detroit has scored 18 goals and allowed 19 against. Junior midfielder Adam Bedell leads the team with eight goals and also has three assists. Senior midfielder Pat Lepera has four goals, while freshman forward Matt Harkema has scored three.

Western Michigan trails in the all-time series with Detroit, 9-12-3, and is 4-6-2 in home games. The Broncos have lost the last three straight to Detroit, and will be looking for their first win over the Titans since claiming a 1-0 road win on Sept. 30, 2007.

Western Michigan couldn't pull itself back after giving up three first-half goals last year on the road in Detroit, falling 3-2. Former Bronco Aaron Hebden scored WMU's first goal in the 62nd and Shane Lyons netted the Broncos' second goal in the 87th minute. Pat Lepera was a factor in all three Titan goals, scoring the first two and assisting on the third. WMU out-shot the Titans, 25-13.

Western Michigan closes out the regular season with four MAC games, alternating home and away games beginning this Sunday with Hartwick at home at 2 p.m. The Broncos then travel to Buffalo (10/28), are home against Northern Illinois (10/30) and finish out at Akron (11/3). Western Michigan will hold its Senior Day ceremony prior to Sunday's kickoff against Hartwick.