Story and Video by James Kelley
Photo by Ed Adams
On Wednesday night, the Pima Community College men’s soccer team scored a win for the ages.
The third-seeded Aztecs (17-5) upset the second-seeded and No. 10 ranked Yavapai College 4-1 in the semifinals of the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 1 Tournament at Yavapai.
No. 12 Pima will travel to top-seeded Arizona Western College (17-3-1) on Saturday at 6 p.m. for the Region championship game. No. 9 Western beat fifth-seeded Phoenix College on penalty kicks in the semifinals.
Freshman forward Yaya Kane scored Pima’s first goal off of an assist by sophomore forward Minh Vu. Freshman forward Donny Toia scored the Aztecs’ second goal. Both PCC goals were late in the second half.
After Yavapai cut the Pima lead to one, Toia answered with a goal assisted by Vu. In the 82nd minute, Kane scored PCC’s fourth goal. Sophomore goalkeeper Miko Gastelum played the full 90 minutes in goal, making two saves.
Yavapai’s loss is their first in the playoffs this century. YC had knocked Pima out of the playoffs in Prescott the last five years.
Yavapai has won seven National championships and 19 Region championships. The Roughriders’ only other loss in the playoffs was to Pima in 1999.
Before the 1999 win, Pima’s last Region title was in 1988. That was the year before Yavapai started.
During the regular season, Arizona Western swept Pima. They won 3-2 in Tucson on Sept. 11, as the Aztecs collapsed late in the second half, and won 4-1 in Yuma on Oct. 9.
The winner of Regionals hosts the West District Playoffs on Nov. 5-6, welcoming the champions of Region 9 and 18 to Arizona to play for the right to go to Nationals.
Otero (Colo.) Junior College (15-1-1) won the Region 9 Tournament and North Idaho College is the only team in Region 18. Both are unranked.