The soccer season is upon us once again and the Las Positas College men’s soccer team looks ready to fight for their play-off berth and defend the name of the school on the intercollegiate stage.
Las Positas Hawks men’s soccer team ended last season ranked No. 16 in the nation in the United Soccer Coaches junior college division three rankings. When the same organization released its preseason rankings last month, guess who was still No. 16? Las Positas College.
Being nationally ranked is quite the feat for the program. But the Hawks may have a hard time maintaining that status this season. The program lost a number of key players from last year’s roster that made it to the second round of the California Community College Athletic Association play-offs. Six of those departing players were good enough to receive individual honors.
That leaves a high bar for this year’s team to clear.
A lot of that burden will fall onto the shoulders of returning forward Ali Amin, who last season was selected for the Coast-North Second Team last season. It also means that coach Andrew Cumbo will need instant production from all of the newly recruited players.
“I like our team a lot,” Cumbo said. “The returning players have developed well in the off season and we have a number of quality players joining us. We have a talented team and a lot of depth.”
Besides Amin adopting more of a leadership role, fellow returning sophomore players like goalkeeper Kyle Rudd and midfielder Nathan Robinson will play a crucial role in helping the Hawks maintain their spot in the rankings.
Cumbo will also hope that the school’s excellent recruitment will once again come through with the goods as highly rated forwards Oscar Munoz and Ian Slominski and midfielder Sergio Lopez are among a number of new names to join the squad for the upcoming season.
The Hawks will once again face some tough tests in their conference this season and the pressure is on after going undefeated in conference play last season.
The Hawks will play thirteen conference games this upcoming season with four of them being against nationally ranked opposition.
No. 11 West Valley, No. 12 Hartnell, No.18 Skyline and No. 20 San Francisco will be some of the major obstacles on the Hawks’ road to maintaining their ranking and reaching the CCCAA play-offs for the third straight time in as many years under Cumbo.
Looking ahead to the new season, Cumbo has expressed confidence in his team having another good run this campaign.
“We take things one day at a time, one game at a time. Each year we competed in the league and advanced to the playoffs,” Cumbo said. “My first year was very successful, and our second year was even more successful. I think we have the talent and drive to have another positive year,”