Pima earns dual player of the week awards

By JAMES KELLEY

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team enjoyed a stellar week Oct. 4-10, winning 3-0 and 4-0 and sweeping conference player of the week awards.

On Oct. 11, they finally lost something.

GateWay Community College ended the Aztecs’ two-game win streak by beating Pima 2-1. The Aztecs (10-5, 10-5 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) had won six of their last seven.

“I thought that we were doing well, moving forward,” head coach Kendra Veliz said. “I think we came out complacent, not ready to play, and the other team capitalized on their opportunities.”

Sophomore midfielder Cynthia Fierro scored Pima’s goal against the Geckos, with freshman defender Eryca Carpio picking up the assist.

“The difference was the effort,” sophomore forward Celeste Carrera said. “We didn’t come out strong the first half. The second half we did and we got a goal, so we need to do that first half as well.”

For the week ending Oct. 10, Pima swept the ACCAC player of the week awards. Freshman Erika Heredia won the Goalkeeper of the Week award and Carerra took Player of the Week Award honors. It was Heredia’s second GoK award of the year.

“I’m very happy with Erika Heredia, she has surpassed my expectations as a keeper,” Veliz said.

Carerra, who has been battling injuries, said “that’s pretty cool,” about player of the week honors.

“I’ve had quad strains, so this year has been harder on me than last year,” she said. “I am working through it.”

Carerra estimtes she is at 80 percent.

“Last week she actually started to feel a little bit stronger and it made a difference for us,” Veliz said.

On Oct. 6, the Aztecs blew out South Mountain Community College, 3-0. Sophomore forward Jade Carr scored the first goal, Carrera scored the second and Fierro scored the third.

Heredia made three saves en route to her second straight shutout.

Going into play on Oct. 11, Pima was in fourth place in the conference. Veliz said the Aztecs would have to play themselves out of the playoffs, unlike last year where they barely got into the playoffs and on the last day as the sixth seed.

“I would say I am more confident than last year because last year we needed one win to get into the playoffs,” Veliz said. “At this point, we have to give away the playoffs. I’m hoping that this team is not the same as last year.”

Pima conquered Cochise College 4-0 on Oct. 4. Heredia earned the shutout after making eight saves, including on an Apache penalty kick.

“We had a windy day last week against Cochise, windy and rainy, and she handled the ball in the box really well,” Veliz said. “I’m very impressed with her, especially being a freshman she has adapted well.”

Sophomore midfielder Trinity Houk scored the first goal from an assist by Carrera, who also scored. Sophomore midfielders Sarah Hansen and Kelly Button also scored goals.

Pima fell to No. 5 Paradise Valley Community College, 3-1, on Oct. 1 at home. Heredia gave up three goals but made 13 saves.

Carr scored Pima’s goal on an assist from freshman forward Briana Simpson.

On Sept. 29, the Aztecs won their fourth in-a-row, 3-0, over Mesa Community College.

Heredia earned the shutout with five saves. Carpio scored the first goal off an assist by sophomore defender Suzie Hansen. Carrera and Carr scored the other two goals.

On Oct. 15, the Aztecs face No. 2 Scottsdale Community College on the road. Pima lost to the Fighting Artichokes 4-1 at home.

Robyn Tolin

Robyn Tolin battles a Gateway Gecko for the ball on Oct. 11 at home.

Filed Under: SoccerSports

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