By BRIANNA HERNANDEZ
The Pima Community College Men’s soccer team’s road to championship glory has been one to remember
The pinnacle moment being when the Aztecs created history on Oct. 19 with its first ever ACCAC conference championship.
“I’m honestly still speechless,” freshman Ricky Flores said. “The best feeling in the world to know the whole team will be remembered for this championship.”
The season has been plagued by blowout victories and the numerous close games with long time rival Yavapai College Roughriders.
The most disappointing moment for the Aztecs thus far being the 2-1 loss against the Roughriders in the hunt for Pima’s fourth straight region title. The Oct. 28 loss marked the Aztecs only home game defeat this season.
Despite the loss, the Aztecs still advanced to play in the NJCAA District I Tournament.
Nov. 11: PCC 3, Illinois Central College 1
The No. 8 Aztecs (18-4-3) took on its first match in Prescott for the NJCAA Division I National Tournament against the No. 12 Central College Cougars.
The Aztecs controlled the game from the first whistle blow as opportunity after opportunity was created.
The attacking efforts would pay off for the Aztecs in the 22nd minute when freshman Hugo Kamentani shot from 12 yards out. The assist coming from freshman Daisuke Takanaka.
The Aztecs would ride the score up in the 32nd minute with a goal from sophomore Chris Cooper. The goal was rocketed 16 yards out with an assist from Kamentani.
The Cougars came back from halftime eager to find a goal to give them momentum. The efforts were thwarted by saves from freshman goalkeeper David Silva.
The goal deficit would only increase when freshman Jose Romero scored off an assist from sophomore Julian Goana.
Nov. 4: PCC 0, Yavapai College 2
As luck would have it, the Aztecs (17-4-3) faced its long time rival in the NJCAA West District Finals.
The Aztecs were unsuccessful in redeeming itself from the 2-1 loss to the Roughriders.
The Roughriders came to the match determined to find the net. The efforts rewarded in the 36th and 50th.
The Aztecs were unable to nab a goal despite its 18 shots throughout the match.
Nov. 3: PCC 2, Otero Junior College 1
The Aztecs (17-3-3) victory against Otero College (10-6-2) advanced them in the District I Tournament and paved the way for the NJCAA Division I Tournament.
The game was scoreless until the 85th minute when Cooper was able to give the Aztecs the lead with a shot from inside the box. The sophomore masterminds behind the goal Julian Gaona and AJ Valenzuela.
With only two and a half minutes left, the Rattlers responded with the equalizer to send the match into overtime.
Double overtime seemed fast approaching until Goana nailed a shot 10 yards out from a pass from Cooper with only 1:34 remaining.