July 13, 2024

Brian Gonzales, midfielder for men’s soccer and MBA graduate student, and McKenna Ray, junior kinesiology major and women’s soccer midfielder, cut the ribbon to signify the opening of CBU’s new soccer stadium.

Lights over a lush green field. Fans packed in the stands, holding their breath in anticipation, eyes glued to the ball until that moment — our team scores in our home stadium. The cheers fill the air as our soccer team takes its place in the pantheon of legendary college athletics. With the arrival of California Baptist University’s new stadium, the school gained a new home for it soccer teams.

The soccer stadium is fully equipped with a state-of-the-art sound system, lights, field and a large enough capacity to accommodate more than 1,000 fans.

The stadium saw its first matchup on Aug. 25 with the first on-campus home game against the University of St. Thomas, where the Lancers came out victorious in front of a record-setting crowd of more than 500 fans. 

Lancer fans continued to show their love for soccer in the Sept. 5 matchup against San Diego, with a turnout of 1,196.

“We just wanted to get as many people out there as we could,” said Jordan Lane, captain of the men’s soccer team.

The incredible turnouts prove that a need at CBU has been satisfied.

“We have been needing it for a long time,” Lane said. “Awareness of soccer on campus just was not there.”

The lack of a soccer stadium on campus had many negative effects, including students on campus not being aware of or unable to go to soccer games and being disconnected from our soccer team in general.

“I figured they were off campus,” said Saryah Harris-Davis, sophomore business administration major, in reference to soccer matches. “I was not sure where they were.”

Now, with the stadium, more eyes have been on the sport here at CBU, forming new fans and support.

“I do enjoy our soccer team,” Harris-Davis said. “They have inspired me to get into (soccer).”

CBU did not cut any corners with the stadium. Coupled with a practice field and running track, the practicality of the soccer stadium makes it an invaluable resource to the soccer team.

“The grass literally looks like carpet,” Lane said. “It’s amazing. And we have the practice field and running track so we do not tear up the field.”

According to the official CBU Athletics page, the field “ is a hybrid bermuda bandera sod. The stadium is fully wired for broadcast and video purposes and features a large open-air press box with a cover. The facility also includes a new Daktronics LED scoreboard and a brand new sound system.”

The fans also enjoy the aesthetic quality of the stadium.

“I think it is beautiful,” Harris-Davis said. “It is obvious that they put a lot of money into it.”

The electrifying crowd at games is proof that soccer is important to students at CBU.

“At first it was strange,” Lane said. “When you have fans behind you cheering for you, it feels a bit weird when you have not had that for a long time. But it is amazing. It is that confidence and sense of pride — to be proud to wear the jersey and putting good performances for the school and the student body. It is just a new sense of identity.”

The fans are also able to feel this energy during the soccer games.

“The game itself was really entertaining, and the crowd was high energy,” Harris-Davis said, referring to the first game of the season.

The new home stadium has added infinite value to our campus and enriched student life here at CBU.

“We have something to call ours and it is something that we can be proud of,” Lane said.

To stay up to date on all upcoming games, go on the official CBU Athletics website.

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