By Monica Turcios @_ILEANAMT
It was emerald blue skies, sandy beaches, warm ocean water, volcanoes and palm trees for the Las Positas women’s soccer team as they began their pre-season in the Aloha State.
Traveling to Honolulu on Aug. 25 the team defeated Hawaii Pacific University and acclaimed club team Hawaii Rush. With a mix of returning and new players, the team looks to carry over their success from last year.
Freshman Jennifer Parker was very excited to take her first trip with her new team, and looks forward to the season. “I really expect to win with this team. We have been practicing so hard since July and I think we are ready to do this,” she said.
Saturday, the Lady Hawks played their first game against Hawaii Pacific University. It was a hard fought battle with the Lady Hawks coming away with a 1-0 loss.
Coach Paul Sapsford felt it was a great opportunity to go up against a 4-year division 2 university and come away holding them to one goal. According to Sapsford, there were a couple of times the Ladyhawks had a chance to score but it just didn’t happen.
Overall, he was happy with the team’s performance.
“The girls played really well,” he said.
In their second game on Sunday Aug. 27 against club team Hawaii Rush, the result was a draw. Yessica Morales, an all-conference player from last season, assisted Britni Myhre for the only goal of the game for the hawks.
The final score was 1-1.
Again, Sapsford had nothing but praise for the LPC team. He knew they were prepared to play, and he was very proud of them.
“The girls are always doing their best and work hard to obtain their goals and the results were demonstrated in these games,” Sapsford said.
Off the field, the team was able to take in the sights of Hawaii’s acclaimed Hanauma Bay State Park, went snorkeling and attended a luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
It was a good time for the team to build some chemistry which was one of Sapsford’s objectives for the trip, as well as for exposure to the division one and division two programs.
Sapsford, who has been coaching for over 20 years, has had his share of teams and experience with athletes. It will be his third year coaching at Las Positas and has confidence in this group of women.
Coming off a 12-6-3 record last year, the team has lost a few of its players but also has a number of returning second-team-all conference picks, including goalkeeper Ali Nunes, and defensive players Ashley Carlton and Mildreth Gil.
The games in Hawaii were helpful for the team to see the level they were capable of playing at felt Sapsford and so far it seems to have paid off. Team bonding in Hawaii has ended, but the real work has just begun for the women. Since their homecoming, the team has posted a 3-1 record thus far. They will look to continued success this week as they take on Yuba College Friday Sept. 16 in Marysville.