Justine Chavez and Devin Bradshaw
@JustineChavez01 and @DevinTheGreat96
Their historic season came to a sudden and swift end. LPC women’s soccer team was stifled in round one of the Norcal Playoffs.
After going undefeated in conference play and wining their first ever conference title, the women’s team failed to make any noise in the postseason, losing 1-0 on their own field in the first round to San Joaquin Delta College on Nov. 18.
They gave up their first goal in four games, allowing a fluke score by the Mustangs that led to the end their season.
“Very disheartening,” Hawks coach Paul Sapsford said. “Saddened about the result because the women played well all season.”
Coming in as the No. 4 seed in the playoffs, the Lady Hawks were primed for a deep run toward a championship after finishing 15-1-2 during the regular season. This was their year. But they found trouble when the Mustangs rolled in to town.
No. 13 Delta entered the playoffs riding a four-game losing streak. The game was mostly a stalemate with Delta stopping all of LPC’s opportunities to advance and score. The Lady Hawks were the more aggressive team throughout the game attempting to put pressure on the Mustangs but it backfired.
Sapsford suggested Delta successfully mucked up the game by repeatedly clearing the ball. It’s a common tactic for leveling the playing field against a more skilled team.
“They had no ambition to play good soccer,” he said.
LPC’s aggressive nature did them in. A throw in from Leilani Sierra midway through the second half resulted in a good opportunity for a score at net. But the Hawks had little movement on the play and didn’t capitalize on the chance.
Delta quickly reversed the action with a long kick from goalie Amanda Leal. The Lady Hawks allowed Delta midfielder Isabela Meza to get behind the defense on a run, prompting Hawks goalie Jennifer Parker to come out deep into the box in pursuit.
But she didn’t get to the ball in time. Meza got there first and slid a shot right under Parker and into an empty net in the 61st minute.
It looked as if the Lady Hawks would tie it in the 78th minute.
A goal kick from Parker pushed the ball to midfield where, a through ball set up Samaniego on a run with an advantage. She slipped a pass to Alaina Medellin, who had a wide-open look from about 10 feet.
She slowed up to gather for her shot, but that allowed the defender to close on her and contest the shot. It sailed wide right, hitting the post on the outside of the net.
Medellin laid on the ground with both hands on her in disappointment. Las Positas’ best chance was missed.
“One game doesn’t define the season,” forward Paola Samaniego said. “We made history for LPC and we’ll be ready and fired up for next season.”