OCEANSIDE — The MiraCosta College women’s soccer team has four games left to decide if the team will win the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship and have a guaranteed spot in the state playoffs.
It has been a very good year so far. The team’s standing as of Nov. 4 is 10 wins, two losses and four ties.
First year women’s college soccer coach Miguel Barragan credits much of the Spartans’ success to player attitude and a unified team vision.
Early on players set team values and goals that have united them through the season.
“We have good players with good attitudes,” Barragan said. “The team culture carried us on.”
A challenge of college soccer is that team members only play for two years. While players come in with experience, it is really a new start every year with only a handful of sophomore players returning.
“It’s difficult to get the same players back,” Barragan said. “We have six sophomores, but they didn’t all play last year.”
Barragan said he and assistant coach Jill Foss selected team players who showed skill and a positive attitude. He said a positive attitude has pulled the team through daily practices and demanding games.
“We have a well-rounded team with a strong offense, and that’s very organized defensively,” Barragan said.
“The team specifically has a lot of toughness, physical toughness and mental toughness,” Pat Conahan, MiraCosta College athletic director, said.
Two of the team’s top players consistently show outstanding skill and good sportsmanship.
Angelina Hix is the team captain and forward. She is recognized statewide for scoring 22 goals and 10 assists this year.
“She’s the top player in the state,” Barragan said
This is Hix’s sophomore year on the MiraCosta College team. Barragan said she has been scouted by several universities and has the choice of which university she wants to attend to continue pursuing athletics and academics.
Sarah Hinkel, the team goalkeeper, is another outstanding player. Hinkel is a freshman and will be with the team for one more year.
“She is the leading conference goalkeeper with the least amount of goals scored against her,” Barragan said. “But she’ll be the first to tell you it’s all about the team.”
Barragan said the team is excited about their success this season, and team members are keeping a level head as they finish the final conference games that decide if they will go on to state playoffs.
“It looks good now,” Barragan said.
Barragan said the Spartans’ upcoming home game against Mt. San Jacinto Nov. 12 would be one to watch. Mt. San Jacinto beat MiraCosta by one goal in a previous game this season and stands at about the same number of wins and losses.
During the game there will be a sophomore day celebration.
Barragan said because of the close rankings between top college teams MiraCosta’s goal is to win every game it has left to play in the conference.
“We can’t afford to lose,” Barragan said. “We have to win them all.”
Among his accomplishments, Barragan led the Oceanside High School girl’s soccer team to win the Valley League High School Championship last school year. It was the first girl’s soccer championship in the school’s history.
“It was a great accomplishment,” Conahan said. “We thought he would do similar things here, but didn’t think it would be right away. He’s done it quickly. There’s four games left and they’re in first place currently. It’s fantastic.”
If the MiraCosta College women’s soccer team wins the conference title it will be the first women’s soccer conference championship for the college.