By LYNDAJOE ECHERIVEL
1996 File photo by JADE H. SULKOWSKI
Fifteen years ago, Pima Community College’s first-ever women’s soccer team let their presence be known in their inaugural season.
The Lady Aztecs, as they were intitally known, started off their season with a win against Mesa Community College and placed second in the Southern California Women’s Soccer Tournament in Torrance, Calif. in September 1996.
“Southern California is a hotbed for women’s soccer,” said Chris Hawken, former head coach.
The SCWS tournament was a seven game series, which consisted of 50-minute games. In many cases teams had as little as 30 minutes between games to rest. This issue is one of the many factors that led Pima to their second place finish.
The Aztecs went on to win the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference championship in their first year. That was followed up in 1997 by making it to the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship tournament.
In 2001, they were named the NJCAA All-Academic Team.
In 2002, 2007 and 2009, the Aztecs won the ACCAC and in 2007, they finished third at Nationals. In 2009 they almost went undefeated in the regular season, but were upset in the first round of the playoffs.
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