By Andrew Kim

Momentum is what PUC’s Cross Country and men’s soccer team are aiming to build in preparation for the 2017-18 season. With a new sporting season right around the corner, both teams will embark towards their road for their title featuring a promising lineup of new and returning athletes.

The women of the cross country team concluded the 2016 season notching a total of 158 points and a cumulative team time of 1:57:32.3 for fifth-place in the Cal Pac Championship standings. This season, coach Dan Muhic plans for the team to increase their average and position for this season.

The women’s roster features incoming senior student, Dirce Tatiana Pliego, emerging as the lead runner. Also returning to lead the team’s effort for this season will be senior student Kiren Moore, junior student Prindid Montoya, junior student Fatimsa Sosa, senior student Erika Thalman and sophomore student Madeline Chung.

In addition to the women’s Cross Country team preview, the men’s Cross Country team is looking forward to new and returning athletes featured for the roster to build towards success this season. The men’s Cross Country team is coming off a seventh-place result in the Cal Pac championship standings from last season, notching a total of 190 points and an overall team time of 2:59:55.1. This season, they expect to increase their performance and their final positioning in the standings.

The men’s Cross Country roster features lead runner Eric Daniels, a PUC sophomore, returning to the team along with senior student Micah Spegman and sophomore student Dalton Williams. New to the team for this season includes Andrew Price, Espen Scarbrough and Stefaan Dick, all of whom are looking to make an impact for the team.

Dan Muhic, a graduate of PUC with a B.S. in biology and a secondary school teaching credential in 1999, returns as head coach for both the men’s and women’s cross country teams.

The Pioneers Men’s Soccer team is coming off a disappointing 1-14 record in 2016 with their lone win being against Cal Maritime in October. With their season underway, they are looking to improve their performance and build to be competitive in the 2017 conference region.

The Men’s Soccer player lineup features a series of new athletes joining the team this season. Among the new athletes featured in the roster includes freshman students Carlos Piedra from El Monte, California, and Giovani De La Torre as center back from Los Angeles, California. Also joining the team will be David Miongo, a graduate from Takoma Academy in Maryland, and Yado Dibisa, an immigrant from Ethiopia who is a graduate from Central Valley Christian Academy. Jonathan Santos, a native from Simi Valley, California who is the younger brother of current Pioneer player Joseph Santos,and Darian Roberts, an experienced goalkeeper from North Carolina, will also be teaming up with PUC’s Men’s Soccer lineup. The next generation soccer players will be teammates alongside junior students Franco Martinez and Ricardo Mazariegos, both of whom will lead the team as captains.

Archibald ‘Archie’ Asare, a transfer student to PUC from Virginia Union University who graduated with a B.S. in Graphic Technology in 2001, returns for his fourth season as head coach for the Men’s Soccer team.

The Pioneers Men’s and Women’s cross country season will open their season on Sept. 24, where they will host a PUC Pioneer Cross Country Invitational and compete against cross country teams from Simpson, La Sierra, Dominican and Providence Christian. The Pioneers will then travel to San Francisco and compete in the SF State Gator Invitational on Oct. 6 before participating in the La Sierra Invitational in Riverside, California on the 13th. The Pioneers cross country season will conclude with the Cal Pac Championships in Fresno, California on Oct. 30.

The Pioneer Men’s Soccer season opened with a 7-2 home loss against Multnoma University but their next home game will be against William Jessup University on Sept. 7. The Pioneers will then play the following two games away between Menlo College and Dominican University on Sept. 14 and 17 before returning home and competing against Embry-Riddle on Sept. 22. After a home game against Benedictine University, the Pioneers will then compete against back-to-back away games against Antelope Valley on Sept. 29 and Providence Christian College on Sept. 30.

The Pioneers will open their season in October against California State University-Maritime on Oct. 5 before returning home for the following matches against the La Sierra Golden Eagles on the 13th and Soka University of America on the 15th. They will then travel to their first and only out-of-state game to Incline Village, Nevada, where they will compete against Sierra Nevada College on the 19th before returning home for a senior-night match against Simpson University. The Pioneers will then play against UC Merced on the 29th before concluding their season against Marymount California University on Nov. 4.

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