Riverside Ca:La Sierra University Mens soccer team finished the season with an 11-6-1 record. The 11 victories are the most in a single season by the Golden Eagles ever, eclipsing the 9 win record setting 2010 campaign. Besides recording the most wins in a season, there were a lot of firsts for this young program. The Golden Eagles Mens Soccer team, was the first team in schools history to be ranked in the NAIA Men Soccer Coaches Top 25 Poll, earning a National ranking of 24 after taking down Vanguard University who was ranked 4th in the nation. Other records set this season included: the most goals in a single season, with 36, beating a record high 25 set last season. La Sierra capped the 2011 season with their first playoff appearance in the six year program history.
This years squad rode a defense that allowed only 21 goals in 18 games, led byCole King(Junior Team Captain, Corona Ca). The 36 goal offense was led by seniorLuis Escamilla's(Riverside Ca.) Who inked 8 goals himself, in the season.
La Sierra's season could not have started any better, winning 4 out of their first 5 games and outscoring theiropponents13-3. In that stretch they got a key win against Vanguard University then GSAC Champion.
5 playerswere named to theAiiAll-Conference Team(Shane Shelton, Cole King, and Luis Escamillato the First Team, Joel Hernandez and Gabriel Esquedato the 2nd Team) and one (Shane Shelton, Joshua Tree, Ca.) to theAll-Tournament Team. "I am honored to beacknowledgedas one of the top players in the tournament but I couldn't have received this award without the help of my teammates", said Shelton.
La Sierra spent 8 out of the 12 weeks ranked and/or receiving votes as a top 25 team in the Nation's Coaches poll, and Coach Olivas believes that is an attribute to the consistent play of the group. When asked to explain the difference between his team's mind-set Coach Olivas said, "Everyone has a good game every now-and-then but what separates a great team from a good team is the consistency."
Ranked 24th in the nation Weeks of Sep 12th - Sep. 20th
Goals from 14 Different Players
7-0 win vs Arizona Christian Univ.
The Golden Eagles are going to lose 5 seniors before the next season begins, But the team is loaded with young talent and will look to build on the success of this past season. There is a lot of optimism for the 2012 season as La Sierra looks to best itself and improve Nationally. "Even though we lose some key seniors this season, we are still a very young team, and with continued hard work, we want to be looking to move forward, not be happy with the success we have had so far," said Coach Olivas. With the 2012 recruiting class starting to take shape and some key underclassman returning the Coaching staff, as the fan base, is looking forward to the next season.