Complacent and lagging. These are two words that one of LPC men’s soccer coach and co-captain use to describe the current players of the soccer team.
As the regular season opens on Sept. 27, the LPC Hawks find themselves facing De Anza College. With the latter’s record standing at three wins, zero lose and one draw (3-0-1), they do not make an easy opponent for the Hawks.
And to make matters more pressuring, several players’ confidence seems to have a negative effect on the whole team. As only the others keep their ears open for the coaches’ instructions.
“We have seven guys doing what the coaches want and four doing what they want,” said Coach Larry Aguiar. “Seven out of thirty isn’t a good percentage.”
During a practice on Sept. 23 at the LPC soccer field, Aguiar was heard yelling out to his players.
“You’re walking! Do you wanna be a starter? You’re walking!” Aguiar said.
While the coach communicated his message to the team, the players weren’t doing the same on the field. It’s tough to win a team game when you can’t express what needs to be done to your teammates.
One of the major problems that the Hawks currently face is scoring goals consistently. In all of their three losses, they failed merely by missing single goals. Coach Ramiro Rodriguez simply commented that the team controlled the time of possession, but needed to convert on their chances.
“We should have scored the goals when we had our chances,” Rodriguez said.
Aguiar agrees. However, he believes that the team’s failing relies mainly on their inability to remain focused and driven all throughout their matches. Three times this season he has seen the game slip away in the final minutes.
“They get complacent when they get the lead,” Aguiar said. “They get a lead and they think ‘We’ve got this team.’”
“We’ve been trying to coach them that the game’s not over until the referee calls the game,” added Aguiar.
These problems perhaps can be the deciding factors for whether the Hawks triumph over De Anza College as they are expected to play for the full 90 minutes of the game. Besides their 3-0-1 record, De Anza is presently ranked seventh in the Northern California poll and number 15 statewide.
If the unranked Hawks want to open up their regular season with a win, every player must be playing with the coaches’ standard.
Execution is something the Hawks need, and playing in a loaded conference they don’t have time to work on it. In the Coast Conference, with fifteen tough teams to get through, the Hawks have to work the full time allotted to finish their games with a win.
“We’ve been dominating,” said co-captain Jesus Carriedo. “It’s just those last minutes. We lag off and lose the game.”