Soccer to kick off fall sports schedule
The 2011 Cal State L.A. menís soccer team poses with its championship banner and plaque after winning the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championship Tournament at Cal State Stanislaus.
Committed to continuing the success of last year, Cal State L.A.ís fall sports programs will begin practice for the start of their 2012 seasons later this month.
Cal State L.A.ís menís soccer team, the defending National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II West Region and California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) champions, are ranked eighth nationally in a preseason poll from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The team will kick off the 2012 season on the road with a game against Dixie State College on Thursday, August 30. The Golden Eagles will open conference play with road games at Chico State and Cal State Stanislaus before playing their home opener against UC San Diego on Friday, Sept. 14, 4:30 p.m., at the University Stadium in the Billie Jean King Sports Complex.
The Golden Eagles finished 2011 ranked eighth in the nation after reaching the NCAA Division II quarterfinals. Cal State L.A. had a 15-2-6 record last year and is now 79-32-18 over the past six seasons with four trips to the NCAA West Region title game during that span.
All-West Region forward Rosario Bras and All-West Region goalkeeper Waleed Cassis lead a group of 13 returners from last yearís team to victory. This season, a large group of newcomersómidfielders Sebastian Luehr (Hawaii Pacific), Juan Ochoa (Cerritos College) and Shane Panther (UNLV), and forward Halil Tozar (Nova Southeastern)óis expected to bolster the roster.
Cal State L.A.ís womenís soccer team also had a winning season, and advanced to the NCAA Division II West Region title game in 2011 for the second time in program history and was ranked 12th in the nation. The team will also open its season on the road at Dixie State College on Aug. 30. The Golden Eaglesí first home game will be against rival UC San Diego on Friday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m., as part of a doubleheader with the menís program.
The Golden Eagles, who sport a 45-11-7 overall record over the past three seasons, have 13 players returning from last yearís squad, including 2010 All-CCAA honorable mention goalkeeper Gabriella Batmani. Cal State L.A. is also expecting big things from a large group of newcomers, including forward Tahne Apo (Oregon State), midfielder Heather Williams (University of New Mexico) and defenders Janelle Hanna (Santiago Canyon College) and Raquel Gervas (Cal State Bakersfield).
L: Returning All-CCAA cross country runner Sabrina Lopez had the best finish in the CCAA Championships last season for the Golden Eagles.
R: Senior outside hitter Samantha Potter reacts after an opponentís shot sails out in action in the Eagles Nest Gym.
The Golden Eagles hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA playoffs in 2011 for the first time in program history. In a recently-released preseason poll from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, the Golden Eagles are ranked 13th in the nation.
Cal State L.A.ís volleyball team, which posted its 15th consecutive winning season last year, will co-host a tournament Sept. 7-8 that will include matches against Azusa Pacific, Point Loma Nazarene and Cal State San Marcos. The Golden Eagles will also host four conference games in September against Cal State East Bay (Sept. 21), Cal State Monterey Bay (Sept. 22), San Francisco State (Sept. 28), and Sonoma State (Sept. 29).
All-American Marquis Mora is among 10 players returning for the Golden Eagles. The team will welcome six newcomers, including freshman setter Alexandra Bura (Stuttgart, Germany), freshman outside hitter Iona Lofrano (Colfax High School), and senior outside hitter (Sukhjit Athwal).
Cal State L.A.ís cross country team, which finished a close third in the CCAA last season, should prove strong again this fall. The Golden Eagles will kick off their season on Aug. 31 at the UC San Diego Opener. Cal State L.A. has two All-CCAA cross country coming back in senior Valerie Sanchez and junior Sabrina Lopez. Sanchez earned All-America honors in indoor track and field in the mile after finishing eighth in the conference in cross country. Lopez was the highest finisher for Cal State L.A. in the 2011 CCAA Cross Country Championships and placed fifth.
The Golden Eagles will also be welcoming to the team former Golden Eagle soccer star Lisa Ohberg, who earned All-America honors last spring in the 1,500 meters as a member of Cal State L.A.ís outdoor track and field team. Ohberg will be running cross country for the first time at Cal State L.A.
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