The #15 state-ranked team Las Positas Hawks entered their Oct. 22 away game against the Evergreen Valley Hawks. Evergreen Valley struck first in the 25th minute. This was the first of four goals to be scored within nine minutes of each other, including a natural hat-trick for Evergreen’s Mario Garcia. This pretty much cemented the game as LPC wasn’t able to breakthrough at all in the second period either. Evergreen would add another goal to make it a 5-0 final score and marked the third time LPC would be shutout by an opponent. Despite the loss, LPC remained in third place in the Coast Conference North Division, behind Evergreen and Foothill College. The group would have to try their best to reset, as they continued their three game road trip and faced De Anza College next.
The Tuesday, Oct. 26, division and conference matchup against De Anza began much better for LPC, as forwards Adolfo Trujillo and Saul Gutierrez both scored and assisted on each other’s goal in the first period. Trujillo’s goal came at the 13th minute and Gutierrez’s goal at the 19th minute. The Hawks were able to hold off De Anza for the rest of the first period but gave one up six minutes into the second. LPC held a 2-1 lead for the next half hour before the opposing team tied the game up. Hawks goalie Garrett Aslup stood fairly tall as he finished the game with eight saves on 10 shots. Neither team prevailed in this one as they would keep it a 2-2 game and draw.
“We took a step forward today and earned a result on the road against a very good team,” said coach Andy Cumbo to LPC Athletics. Despite a respectable 10-4-3 overall record, LPC being 3-3-2 in conference games leaves Cumbo wanting more, “we are still making progress and we still have room to improve as we look to close out this final third of the year.”
The Hawks looked to improve the following Friday on Oct. 29, against West Valley College in the final stop of their three game road trip. West Valley Vikings midfielder Christian Vallin scored the first goal of the game 24 minutes in. The Vikings would gain a temporary 2-0 lead nine minutes later due to an own-goal by Las Positas. LPC’s captain, Adolfo Trujillo, cut the lead in half another nine minutes later to give his team a chance heading into the second period.
The game remained close in the second half as the next goal came off of a penalty kick in the final nine minutes of the game. Viking’s forward Salomon Kendaya capitalized on the opportunity to put the game away and finished with three points. Despite trailing the whole game, this is one that must have hurt for LPC to let slip away, considering how long they were in it despite the own goal. They would have the next four days to recover before facing the City College of San Francisco at LPC.
The Nov. 2 match between LPC and CCSF was the third to last game of the season for the Hawks, who were still trying to punch their ticket to the playoffs. The first half was back and forth with not too much going on except for a few penalties. There were no goals through the first 45 minutes, but things would open up in the second half. Seven minutes into the second half, Griffin Lafleur buried one off an assist from Simon Fuentes to put LPC on the board. A feed from Trujillo would help Gutierrez add a second goal for LPC 10 minutes later. Miguel Cortez stopped all the shots he faced and earned a solo shutout for the Hawks in a solid team effort.
The Hawks wouldn’t play again until one week later, on Tuesday, Nov. 9, away at Monterey Peninsula. A game in which LPC won 1-0 and earned their sixth shutout victory of the season and second in back to back games. They had one final home game against Cabrillo College after their trip to Monterey.
The game against Cabrillo on Friday, Nov. 12, saw Seahawks forward Tanner Ruddy score just six minutes in, assisted by Eric Vasquez. The two would connect again for another goal 27 minutes in, to give their team a 2-0 lead against LPC heading into the second half. Both teams suffered some infractions in the second period as three different Cabrillo players received yellow cards. Maxene Huin would score for Cabrillo at the 69 minute mark of the second to make it 3-0. While LPC’s leading goal scorer couldn’t break through this game, Saul Gutierrez was ejected by the 80 minute mark after receiving a red card. Despite the loss, goalie Garrett Aslup managed to make six saves for his Hawks squad.
The Hawks would go on to finish their season 12-6-3 overall and 5-5-2 in conference games. The men’s soccer team would not qualify for playoffs and saw their season end. However the women’s soccer team did qualify for playoffs after going 11-4-3, but did not make it beyond the first round, as they lost 2-1 to Folsom Lake. Both teams posted great season records and showed off some great camaraderie and serious skill at different points of their respective seasons.
Taylour Sparkman is a writer for The Express. Follow him @T_Sparkman_330