California Baptist University is unveiling a new soccer facility in fall 2022 to house the men’s and women’s soccer teams as they move up to NCAA Division-I.
Coe Michaelson, head coach for the men’s soccer team, spoke about some of the features the new facility will offer. He emphasized the professionality of elements planned in construction. In addition, a 300-meter track will surround the new facility for CBU’s cross-country teams.
“It already has the new lights, the goals and the bench areas in place, along with a huge quantity of sand that will be used for the topsoil base when the new Bermuda sod is installed, creating a professional-quality playing surface,” Michaelson said.
In addition to this, Michaelson said the new construction will include an elevated stand and a press box.
Michaelson also pointed out how long this expansion process has been and how supportive CBU has been during the process.
“Since I arrived in January of 2016, the school has been discussing the addition of a true Division-I soccer facility, but I know these conversations were happening long before I arrived,” Michaelson said. “It finally being on the verge of being completed just as we complete our Division-I transition is something I am extremely grateful for. We know that this commitment from the school is significant, and we expect that it will help us to elevate the program even further.”
Antonio Gomez, sophomore business administration major and men’s soccer team player, explained how the new soccer construction will help him and the teams, and his excitement for future Lancer-filled crowds.
“One way it will help is to allow us to bring a home Lancer crowd that can cheer us on,” Gomez said. “Features such as being able to play under the lights during a night game will build that type of adrenaline and motivation to pull out a win, day in and day out.”
Nolan Premack, sophomore biomedical sciences major and men’s soccer player, said the new facilities will help the team manage time more efficiently, as the facilities currently used are off-campus and require travel time.
“As student-athletes, our schedules are extremely busy with classes, practices, weight room sessions and meetings,” Premack said. “Driving 30 minutes off campus to practice is something that adds stress to all our lives and cuts away from our academics and training time. Having excellent facilities on campus will help us be more efficient with our time and allow us to spend more time on the field getting better rather than on a bus.”
Premack also expressed his excitement for CBU’s future in Division-I athletics, as well as what it means for the university.
“CBU getting Division-I athletics means so much to the athletic department,” Premack said. “Having the opportunity to honor Christ through excellence in athletics at the top collegiate level is something that each of us cherishes. CBU gaining Division-I status will allow the athletic program to grow and compete with some of the best schools around the nation while also bringing excitement to the CBU supporters and fans. I am incredibly thankful and optimistic about the new construction and gaining NCAA Division-I status as it will help our program grow.”
The new field establishment will be located behind the softball field.