Fresno Pacific's debut in the PacWest Conference for men's and women's soccer today at Ramirez Field will come against the best -- the defending National Christian College Athletic Association national champions from Cal Baptist.
And the competition won't ease Saturday when the Sunbirds continue PacWest play against visiting Grand Canyon teams expected to contend for league titles.
Fresno Pacific's 2-1 and third-ranked men play No. 2 Cal Baptist at 5 p.m. and Grand Canyon at 5:30 p.m. The Sunbirds return 10 of 11 starters from last year's Golden State Athletic Conference champs, including senior forward Paul Islas, who has two goals and four assists this season.
Fresno Pacific's 0-2-1 women will play their matches at 7:30 p.m. The Sunbirds feature strong Valley flavor, led by All-America midfielder Jae Slocum (Buchanan High), defenders Colleen Rooney (Sanger) and Caressa Archie (Clovis North), and goalie Sarah King (Tulare Western).
- Fresno Pacific added another NCAA Division I opponent to its women's basketball schedule, with the Sunbirds set to travel to San Diego State on Dec. 19.
Monsters open with Showcase win
The Fresno Monsters launched the 2012-13 season with a 3-2 victory over the Port Huron Fighting Falcons at the North American Hockey League Showcase Tournament in Blaine, Minn.
Kyle Buffardi, James Mathias and Jordan Haskell scored for Fresno, and Mikhail Bushinski had two assists. Macauley Haight stopped 38 of 40 shots.
The Monsters continue tournament play today against the defending league champion Texas Tornado. Fresno's first home game isn't until Oct. 26.
'Dogs trio lands in national rankings
Fresno State's Francis Alcantara is No. 22 nationally in men's singles in the preseason rankings of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
The Bulldogs' Aishwarya Agrawal and Bianca Modoc are No. 46 in women's doubles -- and the Mountain West men's and women's tennis programs combined to place six singles players and four doubles teams in all in the opening rankings.
Fresno City cruises to water polo win
Kellie Flores scored six goals as the Fresno City College women's water polo team beat Sacramento City 15-2 in a Big 8 Conference opener at Fresno High.
Marissa Vargas scored three goals for the Rams.