By KYLE McDANIEL
Pima Community College’s Men’s Soccer team has opened the 2018 season as the No. 4-ranked team in the NJCAA Division 1 rankings.
This builds on the success of the 2017 season where the team reached the national semifinals.
Sept. 18 vs. Phoenix College 0, PCC 1
Freshman Yuki Jahara scored the only goal of the game in the first half, his second of the season, to help Pima beat the No. 3 team in the nation.
The game was growing heated in the second half with both teams fighting for the win. The ref was struggling to keep the game under control, giving each team multiple yellows.
After the loss in the first game of the season, Pima has taken no prisoners in its last eight games, winning them all, while conceding only 4 goals.
The team’s leading scorer after eight games is midfielder Hugo Kametani with 9 out of the 34 goals, while freshman midfielder Ricky Gordillo led the Aztecs with 7 assists.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the field, Pima has been employing the two-goalie technique. At the moment, freshman Nils Roth is entrenched as the starter as he has started 8 of the 9 games, while playing twice as many minutes as sophomore David Silva. They have allowed a combined 5 goals while making 27 saves. Roth also has 2 shutouts thus far.
The Aztecs have been clinical in their finishing as they are averaging over 4 goals a game on an average of 10 shots.
Sept. 15 at Mesa CC 0, PCC 1
Hugo Kametani scored the lone goal of the game in the second half to give Pima the victory and keep their winning streak at seven for the season so far.
Something that has helped Pima keep their winning streak alive is its discipline. They only have 6 yellow cards and no red cards thus far in the season.
Sept. 8 at South Mountain CC 0, PCC 4
It took the Aztecs only 3 minutes to score against the Cougars, making it the fastest goal of the season so far, and they wouldn’t look back from there.
This game caused Pima to reclaim their No. 4 spot in the NJCAA Division 1 rankings.
Sept. 6 vs. Scottsdale CC 1, PCC 2
It took the Artichokes just 10 minutes to put one in the back of the net, the second year in a row that Scottsdale took an early lead against the Aztecs.
Pima would come back in the first half, scoring 2 goals, 2 minutes apart and 5 minutes before halftime. Those two goals gave the Aztecs the win.
Sept. 4 at GateWay CC 1, PCC 10.
In the fifth game, the Aztecs scored 10 goals. This was higher than any other game last season, as the highest game last year for Pima was 8. Pima already has matched that this year. The Aztecs scored 6 goals in the first half versus GateWay which is the most in a half this season so far.
The first five games of last season, Pima went 3-1-1 outscoring opponents 14-4, which bodes well for the new season, and their hopes to reach the title game. As they went 4-1-0 for the first five games, outscoring the opponents 26-3.
Sept. 1 at Glendale CC 1, PCC 5
With Pima winning 3-1, and the game going back and forth, the Aztecs were looking for an extra break to seal the victory. That break came in the 67th minute when a Glendale player got sent off, reducing the Guachos to 10 men, which Pima capitalized on scoring two more goals.
This was the second year in a row a Glendale player saw red against Pima and the second year Pima would capitalize on this and take the victory.
Aug. 28 vs. Paradise Valley CC 1, PCC 8
The Aztecs got the win over Paradise Valley thanks to 4 first-half goals by Hugo Kametani, which gave the Pumas no chance at victory.
Pima is now on a seven-game win streak against the Pumas, scoring 44 goals and only conceding 2, which is simply stunning.
Aug. 25 vs. Chandler- Gilbert CC 0, PCC 3
After a tightly contested half, the teams went into the break tied at 0-0. Pima now hadn’t scored in a game and a half and needed a spark to get its season going.
Freshman Martin Cardenas assisted freshman Monsef Bourezza, who scored in the 52nd to give Pima its first goal of the season. The floodgates were now open, as Pima scored 23 goals in the next 3 games.
Aug. 23 at Arizona Western 1, PCC 0, 2 OT.
Pima kicked off its new season Aug. 23 at Arizona Western College, who beat the Aztecs twice last year. The Matadors needed an overtime golden goal in the 95th minute to crush Pima’s hopes at a perfect season.
That could be a good thing, however — getting the first loss out of the way so it doesn’t become a distraction as the season continues.
It also woke up the team, letting the members know they can’t sleepwalk through the season into the title game.