By JAMES KELLEY
Photo by LARRY GAURANO
After a 1-2 start, the Pima Community College women’s soccer team is on a roll.
The Aztecs (7-3, 7-3 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) have won three games in a row and six of their last seven.
“We’ve been improving a lot, we’ve been playing a lot like a team lately, we had a turning point somewhere, I’m not sure where,” sophomore midfielder Melia Skinner said.
Skinner said talks by head coach Kendra Veliz may have been the reason for the turn around.
“She’s had some talks with us about what we want to do, how we want to improve; I guess that’s where the light bulb went off,” Skinner said.
On Sept. 27, Pima beat Chandler-Gilbert Community College 3-1 in a game that was postponed by lightning on a windy day. Skinner scored the first goal, then sophomore midfielder Kelly Button scored the second and sophomore defender Adriana Ortiz tallied the third goal.
“I think we had a difficult start but we’ve been coming along well recently,” Veliz said.
On Sept. 24, Pima beat Phoenix College 3-1 at home. Skinner scored the first goal, sophomore midfielder Trinity Houk scored the game winner off an assist by sophomore forward Celeste Carrera.
“I’m happy with the returning sophomores, I feel like they really have a goal, that they are trying to reach and also provide leadership for the freshmen,” Veliz said.
Sophomore forward Jade Carr scored the final goal, from an assist by Button.
After opening the season with six road games, Pima started playing at home.
The Aztecs started selling purple shirts and water bottles to support the Lupus Foundation of Southern Arizona.
“It’s good to be home and play in front of a home crowd and last week we supported a local foundation that is really close to home for us, so I thought it brought our team up emotionally and we played to a high level because of that,” Veliz said.
On Oct. 1, Pima hosts top ranked and defending national champions Paradise Valley Community College. The Pumas prevailed over Pima 1-0 in Phoenix.