Photo by Alan Lewis.
Freshmen Alyssa Sullivan (25) and Tiffani Cheng (18) each scored a hat-trick in their 11-0 win against Redwoods.
The Hawks have not had a normal season in what seems like forever, but they are showing everyone that they never slowed down. After having a strong 2019 season, which included a trip to the playoffs, the Hawks seem to be going for the championship this season.
As fans are now allowed to attend games, the Hawks have posted an 8-2 record, whilst outsourcing their opponents 43-6 in those games.
The women have not just been playing stellar offense with their 43 goals in 10 games, but they are showing that their defense is also top tier, with goalkeeper Dariana Mihalache allowing only six goals in that same span.
To put that into perspective, during the week of Tuesday, Sept. 14, the Hawks were ranked No. 18 by the United Soccer Coaches national poll, a feat they have never accomplished before. Even though they were bumped out of the top 20 the next week, they seem to be pushing for a national ranking again.
To open the season, the Hawks had four straight clean sheets. During these games, they outscored their opponents 24-0, with the huge help of their 8-0 and 11-0 wins against Feather River and Redwoods, respectively.
In their tightest game of the year so far, against Diablo Valley on Friday, Sept. 10, the Hawks still came out on top by a score of 2-1.
Just four minutes into the game, Diablo Valley took the lead. This also marked the Hawks’ first deficit of the season.
When asked, Coach Cumbo said, “As the pressure mounted as the season went on without us giving one up, I knew it might seem like a big deal.” He added, “It sounds weird, but [I] was relieved. We got it out of the way early and we had 85 minutes left to get it back.”
Although they were behind by a goal, they equalized in the 30th minute with a goal by forward Tiffani Cheng.
After the first half, both teams reached what seemed like a stalemate.
However, the Hawks ramped up their offense at the perfect time as midfielder Ashley Arno took the ball herself and scored the game-winning goal to give the Hawks the lead in the 90th minute, as the team narrowly avoided their first blemish on their record for the season.
Coach Cumbo applauded his team by talking about how special they were and “how they worked so hard the whole game.” He also felt that “it was a really exciting moment” after Arno scored the game-winning goal.
The Hawks returned for a three game homestand after their win at Diablo Valley College.
They started with a 13-0 blowout against Marin. Freshman forward Caitlyn Garrison scored an incredible six goals in the game, giving her 10 goals and four assists on the year.
They ended with a much tougher matchup against Merced to wrap up their non-conference schedule. Freshman Danielle Gettler scored her first goal of the year, which proved to be a very important one, with a beautifully curled shot from 30 yards out to give the Hawks a 1-0 win.
To begin their conference schedule, the Hawks played at Cañada College on Tuesday, Sept. 28.
Unfortunately, they lost their first game of the season 4-1 after Cañada scored goals in the 25th, 35th, 65th and 75th minutes.
After the loss, Coach Cumbo said, “You never have a perfect season, so you have to take the learning lessons from all those bad moments and use them as an opportunity to move forward and learn what we could do better.”
Before their only division matchup against San Francisco on Friday, Oct. 1, Coach Cumbo said, “They are ready to roll. These are highly competitive athletes, you just have to reset the clock and start over.”
In the game, the Hawks fell to San Francisco by a very close score of 1-0. In what was a very defensive game, the Hawks were not able to get a shot on goal. San Francisco scored in the 70th minute, which was only goalkeeper Dariana Mihalache’s sixth goal allowed this year out of their 10 games.
On Tuesday Oct. 5, the Hawks visited Ohlone College. Defender Katherine Magana scored two goals en route to leading the team to a crushing 5-0 victory.
The Hawks will look to keep the intensity up on Friday, Oct. 8 against rival Chabot College.
Arnav Koul is a writer for The Express.