CSUMB men’s soccer headed to NCAA DII Championships

Men's Soccer Celebrating

CSUMB men's soccer players celebrating victory. | Photo by Katie Tozier

November 14, 2023

By Mark Muckenfuss

For the first time in its history, California State University, Monterey Bay is sending a team to the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Championship tournament. The Otters, ranked 21st nationally, will face off against No. 6 Cal Poly Pomona Saturday, Nov. 18, in Pomona.

This will be the third time the two teams have met this fall. The Otters lost the first two matchups against the Broncos, but assistant coach Andrew Livingston said the team was happy to hear it would be facing Pomona again. 

“That was the team we wanted to be selected to play against,” Livingston said. “The boys themselves are desperate to prove they can overcome that obstacle.”

Despite the 3-2 and 2-1 scores in their previous matchups, Livingston said the games were very competitive. Each time, the Broncos took advantage of some early opportunities and scored quickly.  

“We’re right there,” said CSUMB athletic director Kirby Garry, comparing the relative strength of the team. “I’m going to bet [Pomona] probably wasn’t thrilled to see us on the line one more time. We’re pretty dangerous.”

One of the Otters’ season highlights was beating No. 4 Cal State Los Angeles. 

“We’re knocking on the doors of these traditional powers,” Garry said. 

It’s the result of a years-long development program. 

“It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “This was five, six, seven years in the making and the blueprint has been first-gen local players.”

Most of the players are from the Monterey and San Francisco bay areas, but there are a few from farther afield. Livingston said things are in place for the program to continue to improve. 

“We’re already thinking about next year and what we can do to move forward,” Livingston said. “We’re not just like a one-season wonder. This has been a step-by-step progression.”

Last season, the team reached the CCAA championships for the first time. 

The team’s success has drawn national attention and is helping to put CSUMB on the map, Garry said. 

“If we can become a traditionally strong soccer program,” he said, “it would be something for the campus and community to rally around.”

Saturday's game is at 6 p.m. and will be livestreamed on the CCAA network for free.