Chapman football is coming into this season after celebrating its best year in program history and winning its first Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) championship.
Head coach Bob Owens isn’t focused on the past though.
“We’ve put our win behind us. Each year is a new challenge,” he said.
Although many talented players graduated last year, Owens said several players are really stepping up and getting ready to take the program to the next level.
“We’ve got 21 seniors, and lots of guys with experience,” he said. “Our challenge was replacing key people, but we’ve got some great players.”
The men’s soccer team reached the SCIAC tournament finals in 2013, semifinals in 2014 and is now working toward the goal of the finals once again – with more consistency and discipline.
Head coach Eddie Carrillo is not worried about the team, as it is full of experience and hunger.
“We have good depth and strong defenders,” he said. “We need to communicate and organize better in the middle of the field.”
After missing the SCIAC playoffs for the first time in three years, the women’s soccer team is looking forward to a new season.
With many experienced players returning to the field, the team is prepping with learning overall game knowledge and becoming a cohesive unit.
“We’re working on how quickly we can get it all put together because we had a lot of people out of the country studying abroad,” said head coach Courtney Calderon.
Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams will be looking to improve dramatically this year, as the men’s team finished last in conference and the women’s team finished sixth.
The teams are young – with no seniors on the women’s team and five freshmen on the men’s – but they’re hopeful for a winning season.
“It’s a classic rebuilding season,” said assistant coach Rick Glenn.
Last season, the women’s volleyball team endured its worst season since 2002, and failed to make it to the SCIAC playoffs. The Panthers hope to bounce back this season and come out on top.
With 10 new players and nine returning, head coach Mary Cahill said the team just needs to get used to playing together.
“It may take a couple of sets to get in the swing of things, but after a couple matches, I believe we should have a successful season,” she said.
Finishing third in the regular season and in conference last year, the men’s water polo team is looking to keep the momentum going.
The team has spent all month pushing hard and conditioning to prepare for the first SCIAC game of the year. Though the team lost a lot of leadership from last year, head coach Eric Ploessel is confident that the two captains, Willis Allen and Stephen Neil, will lead the team to victory.
“Both are great examples of what we want here at this school,” he said.