Posted by Press Democrat Staff Writer Michael Coit:
Sonoma State University men’s soccer team faces a difficult challenge to repeat as conference champions, needing to first beat top seed Cal State Los Angeles in today’s second semifinal of the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s tournament.
The Seawolves received the fourth seed in the four-team event hosted by Cal State Stanislaus, in Turlock. Ranked No. 16 nationally and second in the west region, SSU won the conference’s north division title. But the Seawolves finished with one less point in league play compared with the other semifinalists, Cal State San Bernardino and Cal State Dominguez Hills.
Still, the Seawolves have ample experience in the conference tournament with today’s game marking a seventh consecutive appearance. SSU also defeated Cal State Los Angeles in the teams’ only meeting this season. While the Seawolves beat Cal State San Bernardino, they lost to Cal State Dominguez Hills, the defending NCAA Division II champion.
Today’s winners faceoff for the championship Sunday at 2 p.m. in Turlock.
Should SSU win its third conference title and finish atop the west region rankings, the team would host a regional tournament. The SSU men last hosted NCAA regional play in 2002 when the Seawolves went on to win the national championship.
Leading this year’s squad are six players named Thursday to the All-CCAA teams.
Senior goalkeeper Brook Johnson, from Davis, and sophomore midfielder Cory Taufer, of Clovis, received first team honors.
Selected to the second all-conference team were sophomore midfielders, Trevor Hurst, from Santa Rosa, and Cam Vickers, of Lake Tapps, Wash. Honorable mentions went to senior defender Stuart Gallant, Coronado, and sophomore defender Ryan Hall, Trabuco Canyon.
On the women’s side, SSU placed senior defender Lindsay Catton, of Rohnert Park, on the All-CCAA first team.
Receiving honorable mention honors were senior forward Tracy Webster, from Sebastopol, and sophomore midfielder Katie Parucha, of Manhattan Beach.
The Seawolves ended their season Sunday with a 2-1 victory over visiting Humboldt State, taking their record to 8-9-3 record overall and 6-7-3 in the CCAA. The SSU women tied for second place in the north division, but were sixth in points during CCAA league play.