By Joshua Cubillo
The Cal State Dominguez Hills men’s soccer team heads into the 2016 season as the second-ranked team in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. coaches’ preseason poll.
The Toros hope to replicate the success of last season, when they captured the West region league championship.
“It’s a new group,” head coach Joe Flanagan said. “We have a huge junior class. I expect the juniors to fill the void left by the departed players.”
CSUDH will have to replace senior defender Tony Alfaro, who signed with Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders.
According to Flanagan, losing 10 seniors is difficult, but he expects the new players to make an impact.
“We’ll have these guys for the next two seasons,” Flanagan said. “We have a really strong group. Hopefully, we can get going early in the season.”
The squad plans to play an entertaining and attacking style of soccer.
“We want to possess and pass, but at the same time, we want to create chances to score goals,” Flanagan said.
Flanagan added that being in the hunt for the conference championship is in the program’s DNA.
“We’ve been in the CCAA tournament, been in the playoffs,” Flanagan said. “That’s our expectation.”
CSUDH opens the season at Toro Stadium against Stanislaus State at 7 p.m. Sept. 16.
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The women’s soccer team looks to build and improve from the 2015 season.
The women finished 4-13-1 overall and 2-9-1 in conference play.
The Toros have their sights set on being among the best college programs in the Los Angeles area.
After finishing last in conference, CSUDH is looking to put last season behind them and return to playoff soccer.
“Our team goal is to make top six in our conference and return to post-season play,” Head Coach Aileen Nasypany said.
The Toros are ready for the challenge, and Nasypany sees the team making strides for the upcoming season.
“Preseason has progressed well,” Nasypany said. “Their soccer I.Q. and team flow is improving day by day. They are always hungry for the next challenge.”
According to Nasypany, the team brings a competitive desire daily.
The Toros hope to achieve success on the field, but also continue their success off the field.
For the past two years, the women’s team has received the National Soccer Coaches Assn. of America’s team academic award.
CSUDH is welcoming 15 new players. Nasypany is glad the team has been so welcoming.
“I am extremely pleased with their openness and positivity to welcome in the 15-plus new faces right off the bat,” she said.