By STEVE CHOICE
The Pima Community College men’s soccer team is playing its best when it matters most – late in games and late in the season.
The Aztecs beat Paradise Valley Community College 4-2 at home on Oct. 9 to claim their fifth-straight victory. PCC now stands at 10-4-2 on the year, with only four regular-season games left on the schedule.
Freshman forward Tyler Terrell’s goal broke open a 1-1 game in the 48th minute against Paradise Valley, and Pima never looked back. Freshmen Alexis Medina and Morgan Quintana also scored for PCC, along with sophomore J.C. Henson.
The Aztecs also used second-half heroics to defeat GateWay Community College 2-0 at home on Oct. 6. Sophomore defenseman Kyle Cornell put in a header in the 64th minute for the game’s first score.
Sophomore Declan Fulton assisted with a corner kick on the play, and also added a penalty kick goal in the 71st minute.
Fulton is the designated penalty-kick taker for Pima, which is a role he relishes.
“I always like taking those, yeah,” said the transplant from England. “It takes steady nerves and the ability to maintain your composure.
“I don’t give eye contact to the keeper. You’ll second-guess yourself if you’re on the spot and you look at him. It helped that we were up one-nil there, because it took a bit of pressure off.”
On Oct. 2, Pima used four second-half goals to bury South Mountain Community College 6-2.
Henson tallied two goals for PCC, and fellow sophomore Yahya Kane continued his comeback story with another. Freshmen Gabe Gauna and Terrell also had scores, while freshman forward Tico Lanz contributed three assists.
The Aztecs roared back in the second half for a 4-3 home victory on Sept. 29 against then-No. 11 Arizona Western College.
Trailing 3-1 at the break, Pima rode two late goals by freshman Roberto Zatarain and one by Kane to the comeback win.
The Aztecs again turned a halftime deficit around in a Sept. 27 home victory against Chandler-Gilbert Community College, winning 4-2.
Medina had two second-half goals for Pima, while Kane and sophomore Enrique Alvarez each had one. Freshman goalkeeper Tyler Wilson stopped six shots.
Pima is 5-1 in games played after the midway point of its regular season.
“Today’s game started out kind of slow,” said Lanz after the GateWay contest. “We played well as a team in the first half, but we couldn’t finish our chances.
“The second half was a lot better, and we got our goals. Our chemistry and flow were there way more in the second half.”
Oct. 11: @ Phoenix College, Phoenix, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 13: @ Yavapai College, Prescott Valley, 6 p.m.
Oct. 18: Mesa CC, West Campus, 1 p.m.
Oct. 20: Scottsdale CC, West Campus, noon.
Oct. 23: NJCAA Region 1 quarterfinals, TBA, 2 p.m.
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