Pima men’s soccer advances to national championships

The 2011 Pima Community College men's soccer team (12-6-1) outscored opponents 8-2 in the NJCAA West District Championship. Photo courtesy of Don Stopa.

By LYNDAJOE ECHERIVEL

The National Junior Athletic Association Championship Men’s Soccer tournament has been set, with Pima Community College receiving the eighth seed out of eight teams.

The eighth-seeded Aztecs (18-6-1) will play the No. 1 seed Darton College (18-1-0) out of Albany, Georgia, on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 6:30 p.m. All of the championship matches will be played at Reach 11 Sports Complex, 2425 East Deer Valley Road in Phoenix.

The PCC men’s soccer team advanced to the NJCAA tournament with a 5-2 win over North Idaho College on Nov. 5.

Sophomore forward Blake Brennan rushes the net as the Aztecs score against North Idaho College. Aztec Press photo by Larry Gaurano.

The NIC Cardinals scored the first goal of the West District Championship game as sophomore PCC goalkeeper Daniel Bacon was beat for only the second time in five playoff games.

The Aztecs answered back with four first-half goals.

Sophomore midfielder Jann Nash scored the first two goals. Both goals were set up by sophomore defender Eric Glad.

Nash has continued his hot streak with eight goals in the last five games.

“Things have just been working out for me lately,” Nash said. “I’ve been getting a lot of chances and I’ve been lucky enough to finish them.”

Freshman forward Matt Nagler scored the other two first-half goals.

In the second half, sophomore forward Nicholas Peppe scored the final goal for the Aztecs. He was assisted by freshman forward Declan Fulton, who also picked up the assist on Nagler’s second goal.

Pima advanced to the West District championship game with a 3-0 shutout over Northwest College on Nov. 4.

Sophomore defender Jeff Weiler scored in the fourth minute, after he was set up by Glad on a scramble in front of the Trappers net.

Nash scored two goals in the first half. Peppe and Weiler picked up assists on Nash’s two goals.

Bacon earned another postseason shutout in the net, making three saves.

The playoff wins left head coach David Cosgrove reluctant to explain how he feels.

“I don’t even know,” he said. “I’m real superstitious.”

Predicting the team’s future isn’t his only superstition. Cosgrove also had the team eat the same dinner and breakfast for the two playoff games.

“We talked about not looking ahead, so we haven’t looked at the national tournament or the draw yet,” Cosgrove said immediately after the game. “A lot will come down to see who gets seeded where. I don’t know where we’ll be seeded but you know we’re just happy to be there.”

Cosgrove said the team would start looking at tournament seeding early in the week.

“Next week will be hard but we’re playing really well right now so I think we’ll be all right,” Nash said.

With the playoff win, the Aztecs picked up their first-ever District championship home win and advanced to their third NJCAA National Tournament.

The Aztecs have a week to prepare for the 2011 NJCAA tournament, hosted by Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix. The eight-team tournament will run Nov. 17-20 on the PVCC campus.

From left, Jeff Weiler, Jann Nash and Blake Brennan celebrate their victory over Northwest College. Aztec Press photo by Larry Gaurano.

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By LYNDAJOE ECHERIVEL

The No. 3 seed Pima Community College men’s soccer team defeated the No. 2 seed Arizona Western College 2-1 on Oct. 26.

Aztec sophomore midfielder Jann Nash scored his third goal in two playoff games. Sophomore midfielder Marco Carillo scored the game-winning goal to advance Pima to the championship game on Saturday.

Assists were made by sophomore Nicholas Peppe and sophomore Eric Glad. Goaltender Daniel Bacon earned his second post season win with three saves.

The championship game will be on Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. against top seed Yavapai College.

The No. 3 seeded Pima Community College men’s soccer beat the No. 6 seeded Coyotes of Chandler-Gilbert Community College, 2-0, in the opening round of the Region 1 tournament Oct. 24.

“I thought it was a good performance; playoffs are very tough,” head coach David Cosgrove said. “I don’t think it was necessarily a good game for either team but we played hard.”

Nash led the Aztecs with two goals in the playoff game, with assists from freshman forward Declan Fulton and sophomore forward Nicholas Peppe.

“It’s a playoff game so we needed to step up and get a ‘W’ today,” Nash said. “It took a team effort to do it.”

Sophomore goalkeeper Daniel Bacon had three total saves against the Coyotes.

“We took our chances and defended well,” Cosgrove said. “If you’re going to win now you need to defend.”

Peppe and sophomore defender Eric Glad were named All- Arizona Community College Athletic Conference/National Junior College Athletic Association Region 1 Men’s Soccer First Team. Nash was named All-ACCAC/NJCAA Second Team.

Pima wrapped up their 2011 regular season with a 1-0 win over the Gauchos of Glendale Community College, Oct. 20.

Bacon earned his third shutout of the season where he protected the net with a pair of saves.

Freshman midfielder, Carlos Benegas scored the only goal of the game with the assist from Fulton.

With the ACCAC win, the Aztecs complete the regular season with a record of 12-6-1.

The Aztecs defeated the Bears of Phoenix College in ACCAC soccer action, 2-1, on Oct. 18.

The Bears scored the only goal of the first half and the Aztecs answered back with a pair of goals in the second frame including a game tying goal by sophomore defender Alex Anderson and the game winner by Peppe who knocked one in with less than a minute left on the clock.

Bacon protected the net in the conference win where he made four saves.

PCC dominated Scottsdale Community College, Oct. 15, with a 2-0 shutout over the Fighting Artichokes.

The Aztecs earned another shutout as Bacon made four saves.

Nash led the way offensively as he scored one goal and assisted on Glad’s goal in the second half.

Pima defender Eric Glad soars above the Glendale Gauchos in a 1-0 win. Aztec Press photo by Joel Gantt.

 

 

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