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Martin Gallegos

Staff Writer

The LPC women’s soccer team has been fight- ing for months. The Hawks trained relentlessly in the offseason, spent countless hours practicing.

They worked on their chemistry, overcame numerous obstacles on the field and off.

Eventually, it all led to their first playoff berth since 2011.

Now, the real work begins. The next step in the journey for the Hawks, ranked No. 15 in the universe, sends them to Rocklin, Calif. Waiting for them will be a dominant Sierra College squad.

The Wolverines (16-3- 2 overall, 11-1-2 in conference play), who earned a No. 2 seed in the playoffs, are riding a nine-game win streak.

“We started the season out slow but finished strong,” LPC head coach Sissi Do Amor said. “We need to keep that going in order to win this game.”

But the Hawks have some momentum of their own. After losing their first three games of the season, the Hawks lost back-to-back games just once the rest of the way.

They went 4-1-1 in their last six games, catapulting into one of the final playoff spots.

It’s going to take even more resolve, and perhaps a little luck, to pull off this upset.

Sierra College averaged just two goals a game, not exactly a high-powered offense. But the Wolverines didn’t need to score much. Their defense was that good.

Sierra goalkeeper Molly McConnell’s goals against average is 0.61, the third-best in Northern California and top 10 in the state. It’s not like Las Positas won’t like the challenge.

The Hawks’ offense is led by two of the top scorers in the state. Forwards Krystal Espindola and Melissa Aboud ranked 12th and 16th in the state, respectively, in total points.

The Hawks have won two games this year by outscoring their opponents by eight goals. Their offensive punch is a big reason they’re confident no matter what situation they’re in. “We never feel like we’re out of any game,” Hawks midfielder Lindsay Smith said. “Our comeback wins have given us confidence.”

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