SBCC Soccer programs shoot for success yet again this fall

City+College+goalkeeper+Tristan+Cooper+%28No.+1%29+defends+the+goal+from+a+teammate+during+practice+on+Tuesday%2C+Sept.+2%2C+at+La+Playa+Stadium.+The+men%27s+team+finished+second+in+the+Western+State+Conference+last+season.

Nicole Wong

City College goalkeeper Tristan Cooper (No. 1) defends the goal from a teammate during practice on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at La Playa Stadium. The men's team finished second in the Western State Conference last season.

JONNY WALKER, Channels Staff

City College’s soccer program is poised for another successful season as Western State Conference play looms just around the corner.

The men and women’s soccer teams, who finished second and third respectively in conference last season, will look to improve upon last season’s standings. The program aims to re-establish its reputation as the premier soccer program in the conference.

Head Coach and former Conference Coach of the Year John Sisterson said he believes all of his players must push to take their team to the next level.

“I expect them all to be leaders,” said Sisterson. “They’ve all got to step up as individuals, but some do fill that role more easily.”

Sisterson is 96-38-19 in his seven seasons coaching men’s soccer at City College, and knows what it takes to win a title in the competitive conference.

“Hard work,” said Sisterson. “If you want to win the conference, you’ve got to work hard each game. You don’t think too far ahead, and take every game as it comes.”

For the men’s team, players like sophomore Richard Caine (No. 3) along with freshmen Barnaby Hitchcock (No. 7) and Haydn Dickinson (No. 5), received praise from Sisterson. They will take to the pitch with their teammates to open conference play Friday, Sept. 19, against Allan Hancock College.

The road to the men’s conference title goes through Oxnard who went 14-1-1 in 2013. Oxnard, who finished first in the conference, was the only team who finished ahead of City College in the 2013 conference standings. The Vaqueros will match up against the Condors in their third conference game on Sept. 26 at La Playa Stadium.

Expectations are always high for the men’s team, who has won more conference titles than any team in the conference. The men’s roster is peppered with international players and features only seven returning players from last season.

City College will play two conference matches against Allan Hancock and College of the Canyons before they square off with Oxnard. These games will be important to establish team rhythm and to put them in a competitive position in the standings before the defending champions come to town at the end of the month.

The men’s team will play their next game against Pasadena at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at La Playa stadium.

The women’s team will open conference play on Tuesday, Sept. 23 in an away game against College of the Canyons. Sisterson expects Madison Shaw (No. 9), Kaitlyn Crooker (No. 8), Hannah Martin (No. 25), and goalkeeper Karin Nordin (No. 0) to help lead the team to success in 2014.

Sisterson had created a bond with the team already, according to first year player Megan Lunger.

“He really motivates us to be better players and work as a team to reach success,” Lunger said.

The Vaqueros will have their work cut out for them against Canyons, the defending conference champions, who have outscored their opponents 7-2 in four games of non-conference play. It’s too early to tell how the Vaqueros will match up, but Sisterson is confident and believes his team is coming together quickly.

“It’s tough to characterize a team at the beginning of the season, we have a lot of new players,” said Sisterson. “The players have been working hard, and I think it’s going to show.”

The women play at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26 at College of the Canyons.