Cal State L.A. appears to defend Division II males’s soccer title

After 14 years as an assistant coach, Michael Erush lastly bought his dream job final winter when he was promoted to the top teaching job at Cal State L.A. That’s the excellent news. The dangerous information, maybe, was the very fact the promotion got here lower than three weeks after the Golden Eagles received their first NCAA Division II title.

If attending to the highest was robust, staying there may very well be even more durable.

“What I said when I took over is ‘last year? Congratulations. That’s done.’ And we flipped the page,” stated Erush, who has added 19 gamers to his workforce for the reason that championship sport. “Because what has this team done? They haven’t accomplished anything.”

That isn’t precisely true. The workforce ranked No. 1 within the United Soccer Coaches preseason nationwide ballot and is unbeaten two video games into the brand new season, successful each video games in shutouts. However Erush’s level is well-taken.

“You can’t think about the past because every single opponent that comes in to play us is going to play to their maximum ability to take down the champions,” he stated.

That’s very true in Southern California. The Golden Eagles needed to beat regional rival Cal Poly Pomona to get to the ultimate 4, the place it beat Nova Southeastern on penalty kicks within the semifinal earlier than edging Charleston 1-0 within the title sport on a purpose from Simon Johansen.

Seventeen days after that sport Cal State L.A. coach Chris Chamides took over the rebuilding ladies’s program at Loyola Marymount College and Erush, 39, grew to become the top coach of the Golden Eagles. Solely 4 of the 11 starters within the championship sport — amongst them Johansen and goalkeeper Alvaro Unanua, who didn’t permit a purpose within the remaining 317 minutes of the NCAA event — are again, which leaves the brand new coach with a heavy problem.

Head coach Chris Chamides holds the trophy subsequent to assistant Michael Erush and household after successful the Division II males’s soccer championship.

(Justin Tafoya / NCAA Images by way of Getty Photographs)

“Any professional team, any top collegiate team, you want to continue being dominant,” he stated of a program that’s 37-3-6 and has performed in two nationwide title video games during the last two seasons. “That’s a great opportunity for me as a new head coach. I have a chance to create my own name for myself running the program.”

Fifth-ranked Cal Poly Pomona, one in all simply two groups to beat Cal State L.A., final season, began the brand new 12 months with a pair of shutout wins with sophomore switch Mike Moser scoring two targets and sophomore goalkeeper CJ Walker pitching two shutouts. It was scheduled to play Colorado College of Mines on Thursday evening.

Azusa Pacific, ranked nineteenth, and Biola are each again with sturdy groups after being bounced within the first spherical of the playoffs final season.

“We’re fortunate. L.A. County is a hotbed for very good collegiate soccer players,” Erush stated. “We have one of the toughest regions, the most teams to qualify for a very limited amount of NCAA spots. So it could be one or two games, or one or two losses, and you don’t make a tournament.

“Almost every game is a rivalry here because everyone wants to beat up on each other to make a name for themselves when it comes to the rankings.”

On the Division I facet UCLA, coming off its first NCAA event look in three seasons below coach Ryan Jorden, is unbeaten and unscored-upon in 4 begins this season, together with two exhibitions. The Bruins, ranked fourth within the coaches ballot — their finest rating in seven years — are led by midfielder Tucker Lepley, who topped the workforce in scoring final season as a redshirt freshman, and sophomore defender Pietro Grassi, who was named to the Hermann Trophy watchlist.

Loyola Marymount College went 12-4-2 however was the primary workforce out in choice for final fall’s event, which means if the sector had been one workforce bigger, LMU would have been in. And the workforce, ranked twenty fourth within the nation in Tuesday’s ballot, has picked up the place it left off final fall, successful its first two video games behind ahead Adam Davie, who has three targets, and senior midfielder Noel Caliskan, who was additionally named to the shortlist for the Hermann Trophy, school soccer’s prime particular person honor.

LMU was scheduled to play Nevada Las Vegas on Thursday evening.