With a mere two weeks remaining in the men’s soccer team’s regular season, the team finds itself in a position similar to that of last year’s team at this time.
And for the sophomores, it is a situation only one group in the thirty-year history of the program has been in.
With just four games left, the men’s soccer team finds themselves in a position they had hoped for. One that has them poised to qualify for the postseason, for a second consecutive season.
The men’s soccer program has been in existence since 1984, and they have only qualified for consecutive playoffs once before: the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Head coach Larry Aguiar is incredibly happy with the play of his team thus far this season.
“I think so far they’ve kind of surpassed (expectations),” Aguiar said. “We were looking to have a decent season and maybe get into the playoffs, that was our goal. Right now, where we’re standing it’s like ‘we’re going to be in the playoffs.’ If we win two and lose two, we’re in the playoffs.”
The Hawks have an overall record of 9-4-2 with a conference record of 6-2. The 15 total points brought in lands them in fifth place in the California Community College Athletic Association Coast Conference, the conference they championed in 2013.
Currently, the conference leader is West Valley College (11-1-3, 9-0-1) with 28 points. Also ahead of LPC are Hartnell College (21 points), De Anza College (21 points) and City College of San Francisco (19 points). The latter of whom will face off with the hometown Hawks on Campus Hill Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m.
“CCSF is the big one,” sophomore forward Jonathan Orozco said. “If we win that one, we’re in the playoffs.”
There are several keys to this team success according to Coach Aguiar. One that he has harped on during his entire tenure as the Hawks soccer coach is maturity.
Aguiar is proud to point out that this year’s team is an even more mature group than the 2003-2004 team, the last one to repeat playoff appearances.
The teaching of accountability is what Aguiar uses to brace that maturity.
“I (teach accountability) all the time,” Aguiar said. “Usually I’ll get maybe half the team, that’s a good percentage, that accepts it. (This year) I’ve got probably 95 percent of (this) team that’s accepting it.”
Of course, the team has grown with Aguiar’s teaching of “total soccer concepts.”
And it isn’t just Aguiar who points to the teachings of total soccer; the players are proud representatives of its success.
“Everyone is scoring,” Orozco said. “People off the bench are scoring. It’s not just our forwards or our mid(fielder)s. That’s total soccer.”
It is that all-out team play, Aguiar claims, that has put this team in the position they are in. One that allows the team some breathing room, as it will take more than just a stumble or two to bring the season to a sour end.