By BETO HOYOS
The Pima Community College women’s soccer team opened its season 2-1 in conference play.
The Aztecs shut out Phoenix College 1-0 on Aug. 29. Sophomore Shannon Shields scored in the 63rd minute off an assist from sophomore Rachel Ridlinghafer. “I think we did well on all parts of the field,” Ridlinghafer said.
Sophomore goalkeeper Angelica Gonzalez had six saves. On Aug. 28, the Aztecs dominated South Mountain College 10-1. The Aztecs scored five goals in each half. Shields scored three goals with one assist and sophomore Sarah Dunbar scored two goals. Ridlinghafer contributed one goal and three assists. Freshmen Erin Gall, Aracely Romero, Chloe Cox and Devyn Hunley also scored goals.
Shields was named ACCAC Player of the Week for the week of Aug. 25-31.
The Aztecs kicked off their season on Aug. 22 with a 3-0 loss against Arizona Western College. Gonzales recorded 18 saves. “It was disappointing that she didn’t get rewarded for her performance,” head coach Kendra Veliz said.
Veliz said returning sophomores Gonzales, Sarah Dunbar, Liz Valenzuela and Alexis Veney have shown leadership. “The sophomores came in really strong and fit, and set the standard for everybody else,” she said. The Aztecs are confident they will continue a winning tradition. “Historically we do pretty well,” Veliz said. “We always make the playoffs, so that’s an obvious expectation, to continue that legacy.”
Many of the players have been around soccer for most of their lives, and Veliz believes her team has a lot to prove this season. “Fans can expect to see some players that have played at a higher level and for different reasons came to Pima,” she said. “I think people will see a high energy set of experienced players.”