Year after year the Las Positas Men’s Soccer team manages to find success even through adversary and an ever changing roster. Where many programs suffer from player turnover at the community college level Las Positas continues to excel. At the root of this program is coach Andrew Cumbo. Cumbo has been working for the past seven seasons to create a winning program here at Las Positas. Cumbo begins season eight with the Hawks hoping to bring home a conference championship.
The Men’s team numbers were boosted this year with many new freshmen. Some of the incoming freshmen began training with the team last spring and later again in July. Las Positas hosted a five-week pre-season course to get players ready for the coming season. It serves to integrate new players into a team role and introduce them to the program. “We’ve had the chance to build a foundation early on,” said Cumbo.
The Hawks have been on a roll this season. They have a current record of 8-4-2, and have scored a massive 37 goals over 14 games. Conference play began on Sept. 26 with a 3-2 home win against Hartnell College of Salinas. The Hawks earned a close 5-4 win over Ohlone College capturing their first conference road win for the season. Coach Andrew Cumbo attributes it to teamwork and commitment. “Fortunately we’ve got some talented players and more importantly we’ve got a team comes first attitude, “ Cumbo said.
This season hasn’t been without its lows either. Las Positas has suffered a few tough losses. The first coming against American River College. Las Positas played well creating many opportunities to score but still fell short in a 2-1 loss. The second happened against Santa Rosa College. Boasting a similar record of 8-2-1, Santa Rosa remains a tough competitor.
At the time Las Positas struggled with injuries with key members out of the lineup.
“They caught us at a time when we weren’t at the top of our game, they beat us and they’re an excellent team,” Cumbo said.
The team has three captains this season sharing a leadership role. Luis Castillo, a sophomore from Hayward who plays center back. Returning from last season is Adrian Denoncourt, a midfielder with 2 goals on the season. Edwin Zabala also returns. Zabala has put up great numbers this season, scoring 5 goals two of those being the game winning goal. Among the players leading the team this season is goalkeeper Emmanuel Betancourt. Betancourt has 7 wins and 2 shut-outs on the season.
Las Positas set up this season with two main goals in mind. One being to make it to the play-offs. The other is to win the conference, which brings home a championship as well as a play-off berth. Las Positas had hoped to remain undefeated at home but that hope was dashed with a 2-1 defeat against Skyline College.
“This is my eighth year here and we’ve made the play-offs every single year I’ve been here,” said Cumbo. Cumbo is clearly committed to keeping this tradition of winning alive.
Justin Gomes is the Sports editor and a Photo editor at the Express. Follow him @justing76412521