MEN’S SOCCER: Aztecs hang up cleats for another winter

By STEVE CHOICE

The Pima Community College men’s soccer team closed out its season on Oct. 25, falling 5-2 to Yavapai College in an NJCAA Region 1 semifinal match in Prescott Valley.

The defeat left the Aztecs at 13-7-2 on the year.

“I think everybody feels it was a decent year,” head coach Dave Cosgrove said. “But with the high standards we’ve established around here lately, it didn’t reach where we want to be.”

Cosgrove saw both sides of the issue, though, noting the high number of first-year players on the squad.

“Considering that we had so many freshmen, I think we did a pretty good job,” he said. “You really have to take that into account.”

The Aztecs started off slowly, posting a 3-3-2 mark in their first eight games. They then hit their stride, going 8-1 in the heart of the season.

“We had a real nice run there in the middle of the year,” Cosgrove said. “I was happy to see how they responded after starting off a little rough.”

He was also pleased with the attitude and work ethic his team displayed throughout the campaign.

“They really responded well to the coaching,” Cosgrove said. “They showed a lot of hard work and dedication, and I couldn’t have asked any more from them.

“They accomplished a lot, and rose to a lot of challenges. I liked what I saw in my players.”

Cosgrove is feeling good about next year’s team as well.

“We have a good backbone coming back,” he said. “Obviously spring and summer will be important for us, and we want to recruit well.

“We don’t need many, just a few key guys.”

Pima will return 20 players off this year’s 29-man roster.

Key cogs from this year’s team who will be departing include forwards J.C. Henson, Declan Fulton and Yahya Kane, goalkeeper Benjamin Eyde and defender Kyle Cornell.

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