The 17-game docket officially gets underway with the 17th Annual Cougar Classic August 29-30 in Azusa. The Cougars battle Warner Pacific (Ore.) Friday, August 29 and then play 2001 NAIA Region II champion Alliant International Saturday, August 30 in a re-match of the 2001 region championship game. Both of those games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Cougar Stadium with The Master’s College rounding out the 4-team field.
Following the Cougar Classic, the Cougars hit the road for 4 straight games, including a non-GSAC game against rival Westmont (Sept. 7 in Santa Barbara), before returning home to host NAIA-member Westminster (Utah), Friday, September 26 at 7 p.m.
The Cougars then kick off the 10-game GSAC slate Tuesday, September 30 in Fresno, Calif., against defending GSAC tri-champ Fresno Pacific. Azusa Pacific hosts defending Region II champ Concordia, Christian Heritage, Cal Baptist, Hope International and tri-champ Westmont.
Amidst a roller-coaster season of off-the-field misfortune, Azusa Pacific managed their ninth straight winning campaign, finishing 7-6-5 overall last season, including a 4-3-3 mark in GSAC play, narrowly missing the playoffs for the first time since 1998. The Cougars return just 9 players from last year’s squad, including freshman All-GSAC forward Ian Leibbrandt (8 goals, 2 assists, 16 points) and freshman GK Morgan Cathey, who ranked second in the GSAC with a 1.02 goals against average.
To view Azusa Pacific’s 2003 men's soccer schedule, click here.