By STEVE CHOICE
The Pima Community College women’s soccer team saw its season end on Oct. 24, losing 4-2 to Scottsdale Community College in the NJCAA Region 1 semifinals.
Despite the loss, head coach Kendra Veliz was pleased with her squad, which finished at 12-7-1 on the year.
“I’m proud of what this team accomplished this year,” Veliz said. “We were a young team, but we responded well to the challenges that were put before us. We definitely feel like we met our expectations.”
It was almost a tale of three seasons for the Aztecs, who reeled off five straight victories to start the year before dropping four of their next five.
“We had a stretch in the middle of the year there where we struggled,” Veliz said. “We had a lot of games scheduled in a little amount of time, which didn’t help.
“But the squad really responded well after that down period, and came together late in the year with some great play.”
PCC went 6-2-1 down the homestretch, including a home playoff victory against Chandler-Gilbert Community College on Oct. 22.
“We’re all competitive, and they learned a lot this year,” Veliz said of her squad. “There’s a lot more to learn, but I really liked how we jelled as a unit.
“There was a lot of camaraderie, which is a big part of being successful as a team.”
Though Pima only loses three sophomores off this year’s freshman-laden squad, they were all key contributors. Moving on will be goalkeeper Erika Heredia, forward Ivonne Herrera and midfielder Robyn Tolin.
Veliz is optimistic about next year’s team.
“I’m really excited,” she said. “We have so many returning players who played a major role in what we accomplished this year.
“I’m really happy with this year, and I’m looking forward to next year, too.”