With eight freshmen and six sophomores, there will be a youthful look to the Azusa Pacific University men's soccer team when it opens its home season with a non-conference game against Cal State Bakersfield at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Hillside Field.
But that does not mean things are looking bad for the Cougars.
Coach Don Lawrence said it is one of the school's most talented teams ever.
Maybe not strong enough to win the title in its first season in the Golden State Athletic Conference, but strong enough to contend with Westmont and Fresno Pacific, the favorites.
Azusa Pacific, which finished 14-9-1 and placed sixth in the National Christian College Athletic Assn. last season, has two of the top goaltenders in its conference in sophomores Ken Osterberg and Chad Wyatt. Osterberg allowed 1.83 goals a game last season and Wyatt 0.80.
The Cougars will rely heavily on four touted freshmen: forwards Abdiel Alvarez from Claremont High and Reggie Hartley from Walnut, midfielder Juan Soto from Chaffey and fullback Mike Morlan from Diamond Bar.
Alvarez was named Baseline League most valuable player and Hartley was selected the Sierra League's top player last season.
Lawrence, who has only two seniors, said the Cougars may struggle at first but should be strong at the end of the season.
The Cal State Los Angeles men's soccer team opens its season with a scrimmage against visiting Cal State San Bernardino at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The Golden Eagles finished with a 12-4-1 record last season--their first in NCAA Division I. Cal State L. A. finished third in the Southwest Soccer Conference and was ranked No. 4 on the West Coast.
The Golden Eagles, coached by Berhane Andeberhan, are expected to be led by junior fullback Stephen Sengelmann and senior forward Douglas Mancia. Sengelmann, who played in the U. S. Olympic Festival in July, scored six goals and 15 points last season. Mancia, an all-conference selection, had six goals and 14 points.
Another standout figures to be senior goaltender David Jacques, a three-time All-California Collegiate Athletic Assn. selection who played for a club team in West Germany last season. In 53 games for Cal State, Jacques has allowed only 27 goals.
The match against San Bernardino should be a good tuneup for the Golden Eagles, who visit Cal State Dominguez Hills--a top Division II team--Wednesday.
Ranked No. 16 nationally in a preseason poll, the Cal State Los Angeles water polo team opens its regular season in the Long Beach State Tournament on Saturday.
The Golden Eagles, who were ranked in the top 20 last season and finished second in the National Invitational Tournament, returned last week from a two-week tour of Australia. Playing mostly against club teams, Cal State posted a 12-8-1 record.
The Golden Eagles will play at national champion Stanford on Wednesday.
The Mt. San Antonio College men's and women's track teams are among several community colleges from Southern California invited to participate in meets in Peking and Shanghai in June.
The players also will visit Hong Kong and South Korea. The cost is $1,800 a student.