Aztecs earned a second chance at NJCAA Division 1 Nationals

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By COREY McMULLEN

The Aztecs were given a new life with receiving one of four at-large bids to get into the NJCAA Division I  National Tournament.

In the second chance game, the Aztecs fell 1-0 to Eastern Florida State in double overtime.

The Aztecs were eliminated from the regional tournament Nov. 2 to Arizona Western in a shootout. 

Thinking the season was over for the Aztecs, they received one of the four at-large bids for the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in Tyler, Texas. The tournament went from Nov. 18 to Nov. 23.

The Aztecs entered the tournament as the 9 seed. This was the Aztecs’ third straight year to the NJCAA tournament and their sixth appearance in nine years.

Aztec sophomore goalie Nils Roth made some early game-saving stops. Roth made a diving stop in the first 12 minutes of play; a free kick save at 14 minutes; and a game-saving stop at 84 minutes.

The Aztecs controlled possession most of the second half of the match, putting up three shots on goal, but they were unable to score.

Eastern Florida State freshman forward Levonte Johnson put up the winning goal in the 104th minute of play.

The Aztecs were outshot by the Titans 15-10.

The Aztecs would bounce back against Essex County College in a 4-2 victory on Nov. 19. The Aztecs came firing early, netting 4 goals in the first half of play. Sophomore Itsuki Ishihara dribbled and scored on a shot inside the box in the 5th minute. Roth finished the game with 5 saves.

Based on information at press time, the Aztecs were awaiting the result of the Nov. 5 Pool D match between No. 4 Eastern Florida State College and No. 5 Essex County College. 

The Aztecs advance to the semifinals if Essex County wins by less than a 4-goal margin. The Aztecs are out if Eastern Florida state wins or if Essex County wins by 4 goals or more. The national semifinal game will be on Nov. 22.

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