After losing four of their first five games, the LPC men’s soccer team has been playing like a team intent on making the playoffs.
Their October 18 victory over Chabot College marked the team’s sixth straight victory. The Hawks now find themselves atop the standing in the Coast North Division with 18 conference points.
Sophomore Jesus Carriedo is one of the players who have stepped up his game during the team’s resurgence. The forward has scored three goals and recorded two assists during the team’s six game winning streak.
While some would think the team had to go through major changes in order to get on such a hot streak, Carriedo maintains that the team has been playing the same way they always have.
“Nothing’s changed,” Carriedo said. “Even the first five games we felt we should have won.”
Head Coach Larry Aguiar finds his team in position to possibly make the postseason for the first time in a long time. He credits the team’s defense and ability to finish games as keys to their recent success.
“The team plays hard for 90 minutes,” Aguiar said. “They’ve been able to win the defensive battles and they have been able to stay focused.”
Hawks sophomore goalie Douglas McNeill has only allowed two goals the last six games. He said the team’s solid defense shares in the credit. The combination of LPC’s defensive execution and clutch goal play is the reason the Hawks have been able to shut teams out on a regular basis lately.
“The defense makes it easy for me,” McNeill said. “They’ve been aggressive and able to get the ball back to the offense.”
McNeill’s 0.809 Goals Against Average is good enough for fifth best in the entire conference. He has only given up eight goals all season.
Their game against Chabot saw the Hawks win by a final score of 6-1. What left coach Aguiar more impressed with is the fact that five of those goals were scored by different players.
“Everyone is getting involved,” Aguiar said. “When you play unselfish soccer as a team, good things will happen.”
The Hawks lost their last game on October 22, a 3-0 shutout to fourth ranked Santa Rosa College.
The streak is over, but the winning streak did provide the Hawks with a boost in the standings.
They are currently ranked 14th out of 34 schools in Northern California.
With seven games left to go in the season, the Hawks find themselves in a position the team is not used to. They are in a race to possibly make the playoffs for the first time in years.
The next opportunity for a victory for the Hawks comes on Friday, October 25 when the team hosts West Valley College, a team that is ranked eighth in the conference.