10:58 AM

CSUSM Athletics Closes Out Record-Setting Fall Season

CSUSM Athletics Closes Out Record-Setting Fall SeasonThe fall season for athletics at Cal State San Marcos came to an end on Saturday, and what a season it was.Headlining the success was Coach Steve Scott's women's cross-country team, which improbably captured the first team national title in the history of CSUSM Athletics.  Running on a muddy track at Fort Vancouver in Washington, the second-ranked Cougars shocked defending national champion Azusa Pacific and a field of the NAIA's best 32 teams to win the national title.  All-Americans Dallon Williams and Cady Villarreal led the way, and the team got a huge boost from true freshman Kelly Thompson, who ran the race of her life to propel the Cougars to the title.Coach Scott, whose team also won the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Conference Tournament right here on campus earlier this month, was named NAIA Women's Cross-Country Coach of the Year.The Cougar men's cross-country team didn't fare as well at Nationals, but that doesn't detract from what was an outstanding season.  Led by All-American Muluken Beressa and solid senior runner Dave Edwards, the team won three events during the year, culminating in a dramatic and emotional upset victory at the A.I.I. Championships at CSUSM.  Coach Scott's men were ranked #4 in the nation at season's end, but the conditions at Nationals forced them to settle for 17th place.Finally, Coach Ron Pulvers' men's and women's soccer teams both had outstanding finishes to the season.  After a tough 1-3 start, Cougar men's soccer could have folded up - but the resilient, senior-heavy squad battled on to post an 11-6-1 record and qualify for their first-ever post-season.  The team would win two games at the conference tournament before being narrowly defeated in the championship game by the #3-ranked team in the nation.Meanwhile, CSUSM women's soccer earned a trip to the NAIA National Championships by winning its second-consecutive A.I.I. Conference Championship.  The squad, which at midseason was a lackluster 3-4-3, went on an 8-game unbeaten streak that carried them all the way through the conference tournament, where goalkeeper Kaycee Gunion was named MVP.  The Cougars' season came to an end in the National Championship opening round on Saturday, but it was quite a ride for Coach Pulvers' team.With the fall season now over, Cougar Athletics will look to carry its momentum into the spring with baseball, softball, golf, and track & field all competing for national championships of their own!