By MARIA ANGULO
With the first half of the season behind them, the Pima Community College women’s soccer team is working to reach the regional playoffs.
With help from an influx of freshman players, the Aztec have an overall record of 8-4.
They’ve encountered some bumps along the way during road games, but have built momentum by winning three of their four last games.
Sept. 20: PCC 4, Mesa CC 1
The Aztecs took control in the second half when they faced the Thunderbirds at Mesa Community College, winning 4-1.
Mesa scored first, but Pima freshman defender Destiny Kelly tied the score 39 minutes into the game.
During the second half, sophomore midfielder Destiny Jones scored Pima’s second goal in the 59th minute. The Aztecs sealed the game with a goal from freshman forward Alexis Hernandez at 84 minutes. A minute later, Jones made it definite with a penalty shot.
The Pima offense had 14 shots on goal against the Thunderbirds’ two tries.
Sept 22: PCC 2, Arizona Western College 1
Playing on the road in Yuma, Pima generated a 2-1 upset over the No. 20 ranked Matadors of Arizona Western College.
Freshman forward Alexis Hernandez scored twice in the first half. Her first goal came 13 minutes in, off an assist from freshman midfielder Dalena Garcia. Hernandez scored again 20 minutes later.
The Matadors rallied in the second half, and scored on a free kick. AWC had a chance to tie the game with a corner kick on the final play of the night, but Pima’s sophomore goalkeeper Daniela Sanchez blocked the shot.
“It was a big win for us on the road,” head coach Kendra Veliz said. “It was a good way to end the first half of the season.”
Sept. 24: PCC 2, Paradise Valley CC 3
The Aztecs fell 2-3 to the Paradise Valley Pumas, ending an undefeated home streak dating to 2013.
Paradise Valley scored first, but Hernandez tied the game in the 26th minute. Pima took the lead in the 34th minute when Jones scored off an assist from sophomore midfielder Alexis Aguirre.
During the second half, Paradise Valley pressured Pima’s defense and scored three goals. Jones launched a shot from 25 yards out in the final minute of the game but the Puma goalkeeper successfully knocked the ball over the goal post.
Paradise Valley ended the game with 17 shots on goal to PCC’s five. Sanchez recorded 15 saves for Pima.
The Aztecs lost 1-0 to Paradise Valley in Phoenix on Aug. 23 in Pima’s first game of the season.
Sept. 27: PCC 4, South Mountain CC 1
The Aztecs beat South Mountain Community College 4-1 on the road in Phoenix.
Hernandez scored Pima’s first goal in the 8th minute off an assist from sophomore Maury Urcadez. The Cougars tied the game in the 44th minute.
The Aztecs took complete control in the second half, scoring three times. Hernandez scored again in the 59th minute off an assist from sophomore Maria Delagilldo. Urcadez netted a goal in the 79th minute, and freshman Nereida Sanchez contributed an insurance goal in the 85th minute.
Freshman goalkeeper Tara Kase finished with three saves.
Oct. 1: at Phoenix College, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 4: Cochise College, Kino North Stadium, 7 p.m.
Oct. 6: Scottsdale CC, Kino North Stadium, 7 p.m.
Oct. 8: at Gateway CC, Phoenix, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11: Chandler-Gilbert CC, Kino North Stadium, 7 p.m.
Oct. 13: at Glendale CC, 3:30 p.m.