By JAMES SARGENT
Photos by Ed Adams
The Pima Community College women’s soccer season came to an end Oct. 26 with a 4-1 loss to Chandler-Gilbert Community College on the playoffs’ first day.
Third-seeded Chandler-Gilbert beat sixth-seeded Pima in Chandler in the quarterfinals of the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 1 tournament.
“The score doesn’t affect how well we played,” head coach Kendra Veliz said. “We got extremely unlucky at one point in the game and the breaks didn’t go our way. So I don’t think the score reflects how competitive the game actually was.”
The Aztecs’ final record was 7-10-1, including their only playoff game.
“I would have liked to have a winning season, but making the playoffs was one of our goals,” Veliz said. “Things just didn’t go our way and now we need to look towards next year.”
Freshman defender Dionae Avendano scored the lone goal for Pima, which came in the second half.
The Aztecs defeated Phoenix College 3-2 on Oct. 23 in a key victory that clinched the final spot in the Region I playoffs.
Freshmen Celeste Carrera, Trinity Houk and Sarah Hansen were the goal scorers for Pima in the critically important win.
Pima lost a close one to Glendale Community College, 1-0, on Oct. 20 on the road.
On Oct. 18, the Aztecs were shut out, 1-0, by No. 2 Paradise Valley Community College. The game was rain-delayed from Oct. 2 with Pima leading 1-0.
It was a back-and-forth match with both goalkeepers making saves. The Pumas escaped Tucson with a late goal in the second half to seal the victory.
On Oct. 16, Pima was defeated, 2-1, by No. 14 Scottsdale Community College.
The Aztecs’ only goal came from sophomore Amber Bender, but it wasn’t enough to hold on for the victory. The Fighting Artichokes scored two goals after the Pima goal to decide the game.
Despite a first round playoff exit, for the second year in a row, Veliz is confident for the future. PCC had 15 freshmen.
“We had a lot of freshman so I hope that they learned what it is to compete in this league and they can be ready for next year,” Veliz said about the possibilities for next season.
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