The Orion

Men hope to improve on strong season, women field 14 new recruits

Greg Silvia

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Dan Reidel  Junior forward Octavio Guzman gets ready for the upcoming season and practices juggling to improve coordination.

Dan Reidel
Junior forward Octavio Guzman gets ready for the upcoming season and practices juggling to improve coordination.

Riding a 14-game unbeaten streak into the championship of the California Collegiate Athletic Association, the ’Cats had their sights set on their second CCAA Championship in the last ten years and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

However, two late goals by Cal State Stanislaus in the final 13 minutes cost Chico State the title.

It was a humbling end to a successful season, but the ’Cats will be using it as motivation for the upcoming season.

Tyson Crim, a redshirt senior who missed last season with a broken wrist, will lead an experienced team back onto the pitch this year.

“Expectations are high for the upcoming season,” Crim said.

Chico State will be returning all but one starter from last year’s   squad and will have experience on their side. Key returners to the Wildcats include Crim, who was last year’s assist leader, forward Octavio Guzman, goalkeeper Sam Evans and defenseman Mike Janjigian.

“The team is playing with a lot of confidence, a high level of intensity and playing together,” Guzman said.

The ’Cats have completed their first week of training with a good mix of returning veterans and a promising group of incoming freshmen. The team is starting to take form.

“I feel this is the best team we have had in the three years I’ve been here,” said Hector Cibrian, a redshirt sophomore.

The ’Cats aren’t looking for personal stats as a way of judging how the season goes; all that’s on their minds is overall team success.

“I just want to do whatever coach Restrepo tells me to do and whatever I need to do to help this team win,” Guzman said.

The ‘Cats are scheduled to kick off the season Sept. 5 in Lacey, Wash. against Saint Martin’s University. Their first home game will be against UC San Diego at 4:30 p.m Sept. 20 at University Stadium.

Unfortunately, the ’Cats will not have a chance for revenge against Cal State Stanislaus during regular season play because Chico State was moved into the south division of the CCAA this year. A possible matchup could come in the CCAA tournament.

“All eyes are on a return to the CCAA championship game, but this time we want to win it,” said senior midfielder Luis Martinez. “But first thing’s first, we need to play and win every game.”

 

Greg Silva can be reached at [email protected] or @gsilva on Twitter.

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Men hope to improve on strong season, women field 14 new recruits