Unity, competitive drive and winning tradition; the men’s and women’s soccer teams are halfway through their seasons as they are kicking it into gear to defend their National Christian College Athletic Association championship titles.
As California Baptist University’s men’s soccer season came to a close in 2011, they walked away with Pacific West Conference and NCCAA National Championship titles.
Captain Tyler Garrison, senior kinesiology major and forward, shared that these ac- complishments are by far his favorite soccer-related memory at CBU. He said that he, as well as his teammates, look forward to defending their several titles.
“This year is a bittersweet year because I am a senior,” Garrison said. “However, I am excited to have the chance to win back-to-back PacWest, regional and national championships.”
What characterizes the soccer men of CBU is the unbreakable dynamic of the team, Garrison said.
Marc Hope, junior marketing major and outside left midfielder, described the vibe of the team as the driving mechanism for their success.
“We are very close and sacrifice for each other,” Hope said. “We have a great group of guys, and I am looking forward to building strong bonds the most.”
Joey Pacheco, junior kinesiology major and goalie, said he also feels that the brotherly bond helps the team succeed.
“I like how close knit we are,” Pacheco said. “We are willing to do work for each other on and off the field. I am really looking forward to how good we can be this year. It should be a very solid season for us.”
Garrison said he views the team dynamic not only as an athletic platform for success but also one on a spiritual level, a deeper connection.
“We are a big family, and everyone knows that the guys they are playing with will always have their back,” Garrison said. “We go to- gether and fight for each other. Our main goal is to serve God with the abilities and talents He has given us, and to be men of God on and off the soccer field.”
The CBU women’s soccer team uses the same playbook of success, backed by comradery and sisterhood.
“We are a family,” said Channing Perea, junior marketing major and center midfielder. “Being on this team is like having 26 sisters. I love that I get to play the sport that I love with such an amaz- ing group of girls who take care of each other and work hard for one another.”
With a target on their back, they, like the men’s team, look forward to clinching multiple championship titles for this season.
“Last year, we won the PacWest conference, so defending that title as well as winning another National Championship is at the top of our goals for this year,” said Bernadette Witz, junior marketing major and center midfielder.
For Chantel Cappuccilli, a sports management graduate student and outside defender, this season is her last. She wants to help the team win.
“I’m looking forward to enjoying my last season, and going out with a bang,” Cappuccilli said. “I hope we can repeat last years results.”
Whether its CBU men’s or women’s soccer, they share the same common thread of success and drive that is backed by an unshakeable unity that is Christ-centered.
“I’m looking forward to see how God works in my teammates lives,” Perea said.
“Soccer is a huge reason why we’re all here, but I think there is an even bigger reason God brought us all to CBU, and I’m really excited to see how he moves this season on my team.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams play against Grand Canyon University at home on Oct. 27.