After losing six seniors from a solid season one year ago, the PLNU men’s soccer team reloaded with more than a dozen newcomers to the roster, including a group of 10 freshmen. Returning to the squad are two All-PacWest selections from a year ago: juniors Tim Siegfried and Jake Eisenberg. Their production and consistency will be important to the team’s success on the pitch this year.
Despite a lot of new faces this year, the men’s soccer team started the season 2-1. Two newcomers from the team have scored all four of the goals so far in the season as David Achaerandio, senior, scored the lone goal against Biola and another in the loss to Azusa Pacific, and Hunter Loomis, sophomore, netted a brace to lead the team to victory against Cal State Dominguez Hills. Connor McEwen was also named PacWest Defender of the Week after only allowing one goal in two matches.
Hopes are extremely high for the women’s team after their 16-2-1 season in which they went unbeaten in conference play to win the PacWest. This year, the Sea Lions were selected unanimously by the coaches to repeat as conference champions because seven starters return to the squad, including the 2018 Player of the Year Julia Glaser, senior, and Goalkeeper of the Year Emma Hinson, sophomore. They also return three other All-PacWest selections from last year’s team: seniors Abbey Teagle and Abbi Swanson and sophomore defender Lauren O’Malley.
After dropping their first game of the season to Cal Poly Pomona, they bounced back by defeating Dixie State and Cal State LA, winning the games 2-0 and 2-1 respectively.
Last season, the volleyball team finished with its best record in three years as they finished 18-11 and fifth in the PacWest. Coming into the season, PLNU was projected to finish fourth in the conference by the PacWest coaches. They selected Cara Keturakis, senior, as the Preseason PacWest Setter of the Year.
The Sea Lions opened their season by hosting the Seaside Invitational, and they went 3-1 in the opening tournament. They followed their opening weekend success with a 1-3 weekend in San Bernardino. Their record is currently 4-4. Keturakis has run the offense superbly early in the season and spread the passing around as five hitters have 40 or more kills, led by juniors Jamie Cymbaluk and Madie Fox.
In 2018, the cross country team excelled. Their stellar season included the program’s first PacWest championship and an appearance in the national championship where they finished 25th in the nation. However, a group of five seniors led the team last year, and four of them were named to the All-PacWest Women’s Cross Country Team.
Zita Molnar was also All-PacWest in 2018, and she returns as a senior this season to lead the Sea Lions and a new-look squad. With five new freshmen, the team has a number of new faces. They have started the season well enough, finishing eighth as a team at the Biola Invitational and fourth at the USD Invite. Molnar finished second at the Biola Invitational and 12th at the USD Invite to lead the team early in the season.