By Carleen Surrena
Men’s coach Larry Aguiar knew the challenge before the Hawks. Fresno City College is a perennial playoff team and it would take a near-perfect effort to win. So, his pep talk aimed at first visualizing victory.
“Support each other. It’s in your power and how you play within yourselves as a team,” Aguiar said.
It didn’t quite do the trick, as Fresno won 4-0 back on November 18. Las Positas held it to 1-0 at the half, but Fresno had another level.
But the blowout loss did accomplish a different goal. It gave the Hawks another dose of how prepared they will have to be this season. It showed another example of how top-notch soccer teams perform.
It’s a lesson Las Positas College will get over and over this season.
“We’ll look at the video of the game and see what we did wrong,” said sophomore fullback Behroze Salehi. “Our team starts waking up after we get scored on. We’ll put this game behind us and keep working harder and practice harder.”
The Hawks lost two of their first five games, but the schedule doesn’t let up.
Las Positas still has to face some of the top teams in the state. DeAnza, Cabrillo, Monterey, West Valley, Taft, Santa Rosa and Foothill are all in the top 25 of the state community college power rankings.
By the time the Coast Conference season kicks off on Sept. 29, the Hawks will have played four of the best in California. They already lost to Modesto and Mt. San Antonio.
The good news: playing the best brings out the best. It’s especially good for the incoming freshmen: defender Omid Eigbagi, forward Antonio Jimenez and goalkeeper Angel Salazar.
Aguiar said he already sees how his team is growing against the tough competition.
“We’ve got a good unit that is starting to click together,” he said. “Our conference is one of the toughest in the area. I like to think of every game as a championship game, there are no easy games. We try to create that attitude amongst the guys.”