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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

CSU Pueblo Men’s Soccer anticipates exciting new season

Head coach Oliver Twelvetrees (center) standing with his team at the NCAA championship match in Seattle, Wash. Photo provided by Jeremiah Coca.

By Holly Ward

Colorado State University Pueblo’s men’s soccer team made program history last season by finishing runner-up in the National Championship match in Seattle. The team also finished second in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) championship match. These high performances led to the Pack recently being chosen first in the 2023 RMAC Preseason Coaches Poll. 

The Thunderwolves are ranked No. 2 in the NCAA DII Men’s Soccer Preseason Poll going into this season. 13 players are returning from last season, and new players have joined the talented 35-man roster.

“We have a lot of fourth- and fifth-year players that have had COVID years and some that are grad students, so really there’s no excuses, and that’s really one of my taglines, I suppose, this year is: No excuses for our performances,” head coach Oliver Twelvetrees said during an interview with the RMAC via its official Instagram. 

“We want to put in a top performance every game we play, every chance we get, and we believe we have the personnel and the infrastructure to do so,” said coach Twelvetrees.

One of those returning players is Caio Oliveira, a 24-year-old midfield position player from Brazil. This year will be his second season playing for the Pack.

“I was scouted by our coach Oliver Twelvetrees when I was playing in Kansas for the junior college national championship,” Oliveira said. 

The midfielder previously played two years of college soccer for a Texas university, making this his fourth year playing in the United States.

In addition to players from Colorado and other states in the U.S., the Pack also has many players from other countries, including Germany, England, and Japan, to name a few. 

“The importance of returning players is to maintain the culture. That is why we were so successful last year; we have a culture of winning. We want to win more than anything. Keeping a lot of players from last year keeps that culture going,” Oliveira said. 

The Pack lost a heartbreaker against Colorado School of Mines last November during the RMAC championship in Golden in a penalty shoot-out. The Pack lost to Colorado Mesa in the RMAC championship match the year before in Grand Junction, making the Thunderwolves hungry for redemption. 

“The biggest goal for us this season is to have a good regular season, bring the RMAC tournament here, and win the RMAC,” Oliveira said. He added his hopes for winning regionals, bringing nationals home, and making the final four again in the NCAA tournament.

The Pack recently won their first regular season match against Dallas Baptist, 3-2, in Texas on Aug. 31. The first home match of the season is set for Thursday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. at the Art and Lorraine Gonzales Stadium.

“Last year, we had amazing support from the fans. People followed us everywhere. We had fans in Texas. We had fans in Seattle. We had fans in Mines in both games. We had fans in Mesa. I want to thank everyone that was there and hope that they will come again for every game we have, especially at home,” Oliveira said.

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