Each year, seniors graduate from athletic programs at California Baptist University and teams adjust to new dynamics. This year, many fall sports teams graduated key athletes, presenting challenges to the fall athletic programs.
The men and women’s soccer teams will both face this challenge as they each graduated two major components of their respective teams.
Filling the shoes will be Aidan Apodaca, sophomore biology major and midfielder, who led the Lancer’s offense last season with seven goals and one assist. Apodaca said he is excited for what this year holds
for the team once they get up and going.
“I feel like this season is slightly different than last years,” he said. “We have a lot of new guys that came in, but we have a team chemistry that clicks on and off the field. I am looking forward to helping the team and getting some wins under our belt.”
The men and women’s cross country programs, however, will have key returners coming back to score for them for the 2015-2016 season.
On the women’s team, two key runners, Caroline Batkechir, junior nursing major, and Katie Deimling, sophomore pre-nursing major, will be returning.
“Our team has a tremendous amount of talent that we are aiming to take to nationals,” Deimling said. “I am excited for this season, seeing how determined and encouraging everyone is this year, which I believe will make a huge impact on our team.”
As for the men’s cross country team, Valentin Robert, junior business administration major, and Abdel El-Hajjami, senior business administration major, will return to the track field this year.
El-Hajjami said he is excited to see what the season will bring for the team.
“Last season was pretty challenging, I had to deal from one way of practice to a completely different way,” El-Hajjami said. “This fall, we have a really great team for the cross country season. I’m sure that we will be successful if we keep working as hard as we do and stay focused on the right objectives.”
The cross country teams will host the CBU invitational Oct. 3, while the men’s and women’s soccer teams will begin their PacWest campaigns away from home Sept. 24. The men’s soccer team is currently 1-3-1 overall while the women’s soccer team’s record stands at 0-4-1.