Cal State University Channel Islands will begin intercollegiate athletic competition in the fall of 2011 with a women's soccer team, Carl Reed, the school's athletic director, announced Thursday.
"We're building that last cornerstone of our university," said Reed. "Athletics is one of those last pieces."
Women's soccer was chosen from a shortlist of four sports, which also included men's soccer, men's golf and women's volleyball.
"Having women's soccer as our first sport made sense for CI," said Reed. "Looking at the soccer landscape here in Ventura County, from high schools, AYSO, soccer clubs and the programs at the community colleges, it was clear there was talent and interest in the sport."
Reed said that the school's enrollment, which is more than 60 percent female, played into the decision.
"It's the right thing to do," said Reed. "We're sending a message to our students that we recognize their needs. That was a no-brainer for us."
The process of putting the Dolphins on the field of play began in 2005, three years after the school was established in Camarillo, when CSUCI hired former NCAA executive director Cedric Dempsey as a consultant.
Reed arrived on campus in May 2008 to plot the course for NCAA Division II competition in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), which includes 11 of CSUCI's Cal State brethren.