Striving to Improve


Lamar Lomack

The team huddles up to talk about the game.

The Chico State men’s soccer team begins its season on Aug. 31 against Seattle Pacific University.

The Wildcats hope to go even further than they did in their up-and-down season last year. Last season, Chico State started off conference play with three losses before rising up and winning seven of their last eight games to rise up to fourth in league standings and eighth in the West region. However, their magical run came to end in the first round of the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championship Tournament when they lost to Cal State San Bernardino 1-0 in the 84th minute.

Chico State lost a few very important players, but a good amount of talent return as well. The loss of former players Isaiah Dargan, Omar Nuño and Rajaee Delane will hurt. Nuño was a two-time first team All-CCAA player and was named a first team All-Region player last year. He scored or assisted on more than half of the team’s goals last year. Dargan was also an All-CCAA honorable mention who had a big role on the defensive side of the ball. All three contributors will be missed this year.

However, the team returns seniors Dylan Wakefield, Carter Johnson, Sasha Peranteau, and Frankie Palmer. Wakefield is a redshirt senior defender who missed a significant amount of time last season due to injuries, but he is back this year and ready for action. Johnson and Peranteau are true seniors who have consistently seen minutes for the Wildcats for most of their careers. Palmer is a senior midfielder who started 15 of the team’s 17 games last season, scoring two goals and one assist on the season.

The Wildcats also signed four true freshmen who hope to receive some playing time this year.

Chico State has already played three exhibition games against UC Davis, Academy of Art, and the Oregon Institute of Technology. The team opens its season with four non-conference opponents before opening conference play against UC San Diego on September 15. The team has senior leadership and up-and-coming players, the hope is that it all comes together so that the ‘Cats can have a successful season.

Patrick Pace can be reached at [email protected] or @PatPaceSports on Twitter.