Men’s soccer earns national attention

Mike Sampson--Tiburcio Casillas, senior midfielder, receives the ball on the offensive attack.

The California Baptist University men’s soccer team kept the ball rolling in the right direction on Sept. 9, tying their season high output of goals with five.

The Lancers cruised to their fifth victory of the season in their first ever game as a NAIA coaches’ poll top-25 ranked team.

The 18th ranked Lancers took on the unbeaten Coyotes from Kansas Wesleyan University, who came into the match with a 2-0 record.

The Lancers had the match firmly in their grasp after the first half, when they were up two goals to none. They went on to score three more goals in the second half to hand KWU their first loss of the season with a score of 5-2.

The team’s offense is what has been driving their success so far this season as they have outscored their opponents 18 to six on their way to a 5-1 record.

The offense was helped out early on Sept. 9, with a goal from the foot of senior midfielder Tim Wardell. He booted the first goal of the game in the 31st minute. This was his fourth goal of the season.

Five different Lancers scored a goal in Thursday’s game as freshman midfielder Heitor Santarem, freshman forward Jonathan Fausto, sophomore midfielder Jonathan Garcia and junior forward Osvaldo Bastida all added to the offensive onslaught.

It has been a season full of firsts so far for the CBU men. Earlier in the season they scraped out the program’s first ever victory against an NCAA Division I opponent, beating California State University Sacramento 2-1.

They fought their way into the NAIA coaches’ poll top 25 for the first time in the program’s history.

When asked what the ranking meant to the team, junior center back Willie Rupert said, “It feels good, it is a great achievement for the team, but we are always shooting for more.”

This has been a common thought for Lancer players in the two years since head coach Ryan Jorden took over the team in 2008.

Coach Jorden stresses the importance of preparation “the guys have worked hard to get their goals accomplished,” Jorden said.

As for the reasons for the early offensive success, the coach targets the players “good job passing the ball, opening up the offense and allowing themselves to be creative.”

Jorden classifies the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) as one of the toughest conferences in the nation, saying that, “no match will be an easy match.”

The Lancers open conference play against Westmont College on Sept. 25.

The Lancers will play their final tune-up game before conference play on Sept. 17, facing off against UC Santa Cruz.

About Neil Morgan

Hi! I am the Managing Editor for the Banner. I love to write, especially about sports. I am getting married and graduating soon. I have worked on the Banner for four semesters. I also write for I love CBU. Thanks for reading a little tidbit about me.