It has been an outstanding fall season for Las Positas College athletics, with the men's and women's soccer teams advancing to the regional state playoffs. The men's cross country team achieved an all-time best runner-up finish in the NorCal Championships.
Moreover, the Hawks men's and women's basketball teams showed off their skills -- and amazing facilities -- in hosting season-opening tournaments. The LPC men won the championship of the Tony Costello Tip-Off Classic and the LPC women took second in the Hawks Classic.
In aquatics, Las Positas will host the men’s and women’s State Water Polo Championships Nov. 18-19.
So, there's a lot to stand and cheer for at Las Positas these days.
Here’s a look at the teams:
The Hawks (12-2-4), who amassed a program record 73 goals this season, earned an impressive eighth seed for the playoffs and will host Sierra Saturday in the first round.
Guided by third-year coach Paul Sapsford, Las Positas has achieved back-to-back postseason berths for the first time in at least a decade. The skillful unit boasts top scorer Yesica Morales, who works brilliantly in combination with Camila Fonseca. Both Morales (12 goals, 9 assists) and Fonseca (9 goals, 11 assists) are ranked in the state's top 12 in total points.
Right flank player Ashley Carlton has been a major threat with lots of pace.
The Hawks have been rock solid defensively, featuring freshman Rita Santoyo alongside freshman Yadi Torres. Medellin Alaina has come back strongly after suffering a broken collarbone.
Center back Rhiannon Adams deserves special mention for her tremendous season.
“She has been just a real competitor and a joy to coach; always gives 100 percent,” Sapsford said of Adams.
Sophomore defender Meredith Gil, who started all 18 games, has shown “tremendous leadership” at right back, Sapsford says.
Standout Britni Myhre has been out with an injury after scoring 12 goals and starting 13 games.
The Hawks are playing their best soccer heading into the playoffs, where they will seek to earn the college's first playoff win in men's soccer.
Las Positas (11-6-5) stands to open the regional state playoffs at Taft on Saturday.
Amazing Marco Neves finished the regular season tied for second in the state in scoring with 23 goals, and tied for fourth in points with 53. A bright student, Neves is being heavily recruited by Division I and Division II programs.
Neves’ scoring total seems even more impressive when you consider the level of competition he’s faced. He's earned every point.
Cumbo described his team’s last few games as its “most complete” performances all season.
“It’s been a really fun year,” Cumbo said. “My whole objective was just make sure they are continually making progress.”
The Hawks have done a good job tightening up the defense in the final third of the season. Both goalkeepers Julio Naranjo and Jose Elizondo have been “very consistent,” Cumbo says. Plus, the back line has been solid, including the likes of Mike Hatch, Fernando Herrera, Takashi Fukushima, a left back who leads the team in assists, and Nick Tucker.
With opponents focusing heavily on Neves, other players have rallied around him down the stretch. Tony Jimenez has scored clutch goals, and Javier Hernandez had a nice goal against De Anza. Andre Madruga had a massive winning goal in the 82nd minute against Skyline – his first goal of the year.
Now the Hawks want the good times to continue Saturday in Taft.
The Hawks (4-0) cruised in their first road game of the season as five players reached double figures in an 89-53 win over Gavilan.
Stokley Chaffee and Keith Hunter had 15 points apiece, Aaron Berry had 14, and Spencer Wood and Jushan Samra came off the bench to score 11 apiece. Hunter, a stat-box stuffer, added eight rebounds and five assists, and Chaffee had a team-high nine boards, and Samra powered down seven boards.
The Hawks, ranked second in the preseason NorCal Poll and No. 3 in the state, will open the Mendocino Tournament against Ukiah (1-2) on Thursday.
Las Positas (2-1) opened with back-to-back wins in the Hawks Classic before falling to Cuesta 82-50 in the championship game. The Hawks beat Marin 67-56 and EC-Compton Center 51-47.
Samantha Roney (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Cyerra Dillard (12 points, 11 boards) had double-doubles against EC-Compton Center, and Janelle Bumagat rolled a couple of sevens with seven assists and seven points.
Bumagat had a game-high 24 points against Marin as the Hawks shot 41 percent from the floor. Roney had a stellar game with 19 points and 17 boards. Jenna Kol came off the bench to contribute nine points, four rebounds and four assists.
Charissa Taylor had four goals and three steals as the Las Positas women's squad, a second-year program, beat Merced 6-3 to finish third in the Coast Conference tournament at Ohlone.
The Hawks’ Madison Suoja also had a big game with two goals and five steals. Goalie Bailey Beanland made nine saves. The Las Positas men’s team also finished the season strongly, taking fifth in the conference tourney – one spot better than the previous year.
In the women’s State Championships at Las Positas, San Joaquin Delta and Sierra will represent the North at Las Positas, and Santa Barbara and Riverside the South. In the men’s tournament, San Joaquin Delta and West Valley (North) and Golden West and Long Beach City (South) are expected to compete.
Fresh off its second-place finish in the NorCal Championship at Sierra College, the freshman-led Las Positas squad will compete in the state meet Nov. 19 at Woodward Park in Fresno.
Freshman David Frisbie took third in the NorCal 4-mile men's race in a time of 21 minutes, 34.1 seconds. Zach Connolly was seventh in 22:11.8, and Jordan Kirby was eighth in 22:14.8.
-- Matt Schwab