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SPORTS ANALYSIS: Women’s World Cup deserves more respect

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By MICHAEL ANDERSON

The Men’s World Cup soccer tournament is the most popular sporting event in the world, and with good reason.

It is a true world championship, as soccer is played everywhere on the planet. Rabid fans the world over obsess over it, but this enthusiasm hasn’t extended to the Women’s World Cup. I’d like to see that change.

The Women’s World Cup, which is contested every four years, will be held in Canada this year. Twenty-four teams qualified for the tournament.

They are divided into six groups for round-robin play, with the top two in each group advancing to the knockout round.

The championship match will be held July 5 in Vancouver.

The U.S. team is in Group D with Sweden, Nigeria and Australia, whom they open up against June 8 in Winnipeg.

The Men’s World Cup Final is the world’s highest rated television programming, with recent editions approaching 1 billion viewers. Audiences for the Women’s World Cup are comparatively tiny, and this mystifies me.

The women players may not be as fast and strong or as rich and famous as their male counterparts, but that doesn’t matter.

They play with at least as much heart and their game can be just as compelling as the men’s. As a bonus for American fans, the United States team is arguably the best in the world.

What the women’s game lacks in raw athleticism, it makes up in skill, class and sportsmanship.

The women display a level of skill equal with the men and in their less athletic game, technical skill takes greater precedence. This emphasis on skill rather than power makes the flow of the women’s game very pleasing to the eye.

The women also behave much better on the pitch than the men. They argue less and commit fewer cheap shots.

They certainly don’t bite other players like Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez or punch referees like former Portuguese forward Joao Pinto.

In short, they display much better sportsmanship and respect for the officials and their opponents than the overpaid and coddled men do.

The biggest difference between the men and women is the propensity of the men to dive.

Some of the best male scorers fall down like they’ve been shot at the slightest hint of contact. They then grovel shamelessly on the ground, begging for a penalty to be called.

As soon as one is, they pop back up like nothing happened and go back to playing, unhindered by whatever non-existent injury they were just complaining about. It is utterly ridiculous.

The women, on the other hand, play with much more pride and much less theatrics.

Strong forwards like America’s Abby Wambach will run through even significant contact to get a scoring chance. Wambach is the leading scorer in international soccer history, men’s or women’s, with 178 goals.

When players like Wambach do get chopped down, they don’t whine incessantly. For the most part, they get up and play on. It is hard not to admire that attitude. The men sure could learn a little something from it.

The favorites for the tournament are the U.S. and Japan. The U.S. squad is led by Wambach, forward Alex Morgan, and goalkeeper Hope Solo.

Defending-champion Japan is led by team captain and inspirational leader Homare Sawa. Those teams squared off in a championship match for the ages in 2011.

As much as I wanted the U.S. to win, it was nice to see the Japanese players bring a little joy to their homeland, which had recently been hit by a devastating tsunami. Some of the players’ hometowns didn’t even exist anymore.

That match was also inspiring in that those teams like and genuinely respect each other, yet they battled like caged tigers.

The intensity was palpable, but when it was over they embraced one another in obvious displays of affection and respect. The world could learn a lot from those young women.

The 2015 Women’s World Cup begins June 6. It will be televised on the Fox family of networks and information about the event can be found at fifa.com/womensworldcup.

If you like to watch sports, but are fed up with overpaid brats, poor sportsmanship or any of the other ills that plague our sporting landscape, check out the Women’s World Cup. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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Real Salt Lake wins Desert Diamond Cup soccer tournament

Real Salt Lake wins Desert Diamond Cup soccer tournament

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By BRYAN OROZCO

GOAL!

That word echoed through the Old Pueblo in an exciting roar as soccer fans attended the fourth annual FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup Feb. 18-28.

As part of Major League Soccer’s preseason, five of the league’s most dominant teams, alongside the FC Tucson semiprofessional team, competed for the Desert Diamond Cup trophy.

The tournament kicked off Feb. 18 at the Kino Sports Complex, with play continuing each Wednesday and Saturday through Feb. 28.

Three matches took place each game day, at 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., at both the North Stadium and North Grandstand Stadium fields.

The five MLS teams competing this year were Seattle Sounders FC, Colorado Rapids, Sporting Kansas City, New England Revolution and Real Salt Lake.

The Desert Diamond Cup uses a format that is familiar in the soccer world.

Each team plays every other team once in what is called the group stage. Points are awarded, with three points for a win, one point for a tie and zero points for a loss.

The first match of the first round was chock-full of what the soccer spectator wishes to see but also with what the head couch would not like to see.

The match between the Colorado Rapids and Sporting Kansas City ended in a draw, with two goals for each side. The teams accumulated seven yellow cards, including a double yellow card that resulted in a red card for Francisco Flores.

The second match was less aggressive, with two yellow cards on each side. The final score was 1-0, with Real Salt Lake winning over the New England Revolution.

The last game was the most awaited, with legions of Seattle Sounders FC fans painting the stands rave green as the Sounders took on FC Tucson.

The score was an easy 6-0 victory for the MLS team, with two goals scored by Clint Dempsey, the captain of the U.S. National Team.

Round two on Saturday seemed more packed and vibrant than the Wednesday matches.

Match one featured the Colorado Rapids against New England Revolution. The match ended in a draw, with one goal and two yellow cards for each side.

Match two saw the first goal for FC Tucson but also the second defeat as Real Salt Lake beat Tucson 3-1. Costa Rican player Álvaro Saborío scored two goals.

The third match boasted an attendance of 3,661 people, a record for the Kino North Stadium.

Sporting Kansas City took a first-half lead with two goals against the Sounders. Kansas City scored the third goal in the second half to symbolically seal the victory.

However the ongoing cheers from Seattle fans help the Sounders score two goals, which eased the pain of a 3-2 defeat.

The group stage ended with Real Salt Lake in first place with nine points and Colorado Rapids in second with five points

Sporting Kansas City and New England Revolution each had four points, but Kansas City earned the third-place slot because of a three-goal difference.

Seattle Sounders FC finished in fifth with three points and FC Tucson took sixth place with zero points.

The final matches were played Feb. 28.

New England Revolution won 3-0 over FC Tucson and finished fourth in the tournament, as they did last year. FC Tucson has not won a game in the history of the cup.

The second match saw a draw between Sporting Kansas City and Seattle Sounders FC. Kansas City finished third in the tournament.

The last match of the tournament broke the previous attendance record at Kino North Stadium, which was just set a week before, with 3,692 in attendance.

Real Salt Lake took on the Colorado Rapids to see who would raise the cup this year.

Goals came early in the game as Olmes García scored a goal in the 8th minute for Salt Lake.

The match ended in a draw at the half, with Colorado’s Dillion Serna scoring the tying goal in the 28th minute.

The goal that won the match for Real Salt Lake came in the 51st minute. Javier Morales sealed Salt Lake’s 2-1 championship victory with a free kick.

Real Salt Lake is the fifth champion of the Desert Diamond Cup and is the second team to do so with a 4-0-0 tournament record.

Morales received the Eegees MVP award for his championship-winning goal.

His teammate, Devon Sandoval, received the Tucson Electric Power Copper Boot for being the top goal scorer of the tournament with three goals to his name.

Both the Seattle Sounders FC and Colorado Rapids have previously lifted the Desert Diamond Cup trophy. The other two past champions, the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chicago Fire, did not participate in this year’s tournament.

FC Tucson looks forward to another MLS preseason in Tucson next year. Visit fctucson.com for additional information about the tournament or FC Tucson.

With the MLS season starting March 6, the excitement of soccer and the increasing popularity of the sport across the nation only see the MLS growing in a positive direction in the world of soccer.

(Larry Gaurano/Aztec Press 2012)

Kyle Beckerman with Real Salt Lake prepares to kick during the 2012 Desert Diamond Cup.(Larry Gaurano/Aztec Press 2012)

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WOMEN'S SOCCER: Team earns sportsmanship award

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Team earns sportsmanship award

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By ADRIANNA BARRIENTEZ

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team held its own against the No. 2 team in the country on Nov. 19 but didn’t finish with a win.

The seventh-seeded Aztecs lost 4-1 to No. 2 Monroe College (New Rochelle, N.Y.) in the final Pool B match of the NJCAA national tournament in Florida. At an awards ceremony Nov. 22, Pima received the tournament’s Sportsmanship Award.

Monroe went on to win the tournament, defeating No. 1 Iowa Western 2-1 in the championship game. After losing the first game of the tournament, Pima had to beat Monroe by four goals to force a playoff match or win by five goals to move on to the semifinals.

“I’m really proud of the way we rallied and played today against the No. 2 seed,” head coach Kendra Veliz said in a press release. Sophomore Angelica Gonzalez made 10 saves and the Pima defense held its own early in the first half, but Monroe led 1-0 at halftime.

In the second half, Pima took a shot on goal within the first minute and tied the game 1-1 shortly after when freshman Devyn Hunley headed in a goal.

The goal came off a corner kick by freshman Brandi Park. Monroe pulled away with three goals by the same player in the final minutes. In the first game of the national tournament on Nov. 18, Pima took an early lead against No. 11 Owens Community College of Ohio but then played a game of catch-up.

The Aztecs tied the game near the end of the first half but surrendered three goals in the second half for a 5-2 loss. Sophomore Shannon Shields gave the Aztecs a 1-0 lead when she recovered a ball and hit a shot in the early minutes.

Owens CC tied the game 30 seconds later and took the lead at the midway mark. Sophomore Rachel Ridlinghafer tied the game 2-2 when she scored on a header with minutes left in the first half.

Park had the corner kick assist. Owens CC scored three goals in the final minutes of the second half. Pima outshot Owens 19-9 and Gonzalez finished the game with four saves. Veliz said the final scores don’t reflect PCC’s quality of play in the tournament.

“I don’t think either scoreline is indicative of the way we played,” she said. The Aztecs finished the season with a 16-6-2 overall record and were 11-0-1 at the Kino North Grandstand. Shields was named ACCAC conference Player of the Year after finishing with 21 goals for the season. Veliz was named ACCAC conference Coach of the Year.

 

Team captains, from left, Nikki Reed, Sarah Dunbar and JessAnn Robinson accept the national tournament Sportsmanship Award on Pima’s behalf. (Photo courtesy of PCC)

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MEN'S SOCCER: 'It was a terrific year for us'

MEN’S SOCCER: ‘It was a terrific year for us’

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By CALEB FOSTER

The season ended Nov. 20 for the Pima Community College men’s soccer team after a loss at the NJCAA national tournament in Prescott.

The No. 5 Aztecs advanced to the tournament quarterfinals before being eliminated. They fell 5-0 to a fourth-seeded Texas team, Tyler Junior College. Tyler went on to win the national championship on Nov. 23. Pima finished the season at 21-5-1, with a 12-1-1 home record. Their 21 wins were the most in a season under head coach David Cosgrove, who’s been with the program for 18 years. The previous record for wins was 19 in 2011.

“It was a terrific year for us,” Cosgrove said in a press release. The Nov. 20 game was scoreless in the first half but went downhill for the Aztecs after play resumed.

“Tyler is very good and they were better or equal to us tonight,” Cosgrove said. “We didn’t score first and that hurt. We gave up some really bad goals.” The Aztecs opened tournament play Nov. 19 with a 2-1 comeback victory against No. 9 Community College of Baltimore County-Essex.

CCBC-Essex scored in the fifth minute for an early lead. Pima evened the score in the 24th minute when freshman Alejandro Gonzalez connected off an assist from freshman Hector Banegas. Freshman Santiago Carrillo scored the go-ahead point in the 31st minute.

Carrillo’s goal turned out to be all that was needed for the win, as the second half turned into a defensive battle. Freshman goalkeeper Sam Kavathas had three saves in the victory, including a game-winning save in the final seconds.

During the regular season, sophomore Arturo Vega was selected ACCAC Conference Player of the Year. Cosgrove also earned his 250th win. Cosgrove called the season “a year to remember” and praised his team.

“I couldn’t be happier with the numerous marks we set this year,” he said.

“Our most wins in program history and our best home record ever. We also could have the best team GPA we’ve ever had.” The team raised expectations for Pima soccer to another level, Cosgrove added. “This group has changed the landscape,” he said.

Pg13-Men's soccer team-Beto photo

The men’s soccer team celebrates winning the regional championship on Nov. 8. (Aztec Press photo by Beto Hoyos)

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WOMEN’S SOCCER: Aztecs fall at nationals

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Aztecs fall at nationals

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By ADRANNA BARRIENTEZ

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team held its own against the No. 2 team in the country on Nov. 19 but didn’t finish with a win.

At an awards ceremony Nov. 22, Pima received the tournament’s Sportsmanship Award.

The seventh-seeded Aztecs lost 4-1 to No. 2 Monroe College (New Rochelle, N.Y.) in the final Pool B match of the NJCAA national tournament in Florida.

Monroe went on to win the tournament, defeating No. 1 Iowa Western 2-1 in the championship game.

After losing the first game of the tournament, Pima had to beat Monroe by four goals to force a playoff match or win by five goals to move on to the semifinal round.

“I’m really proud of the way we rallied and played today against the No. 2 seed,” head coach Kendra Veliz said in a press release.

Sophomore Angelica Gonzalez made 10 saves and the Pima defense held its own early in the first half, but Monroe led 1-0 at halftime. The Aztecs managed two shots on goal.

In the second half, Pima took a shot on goal within the first minute and tied the game 1-1 shortly after when freshman Devyn Hunley headed in a goal. The goal came off a corner kick by freshman Brandi Park.

Monroe kept the Aztecs on their heels and pulled away with three goals by the same player in the final minutes.

In the first game of the national tournament on Nov. 18, Pima took an early lead against No. 11 Owens Community College of Ohio but then played a game of catch-up.

The Aztecs tied the game near the end of the first half but surrendered three goals in the second half for a 5-2 loss.

Sophomore Shannon Shields gave the Aztecs a 1-0 lead when she recovered a ball and hit a shot in the early minutes. Owens CC tied the game 30 seconds later and took the lead at the midway mark.

Sophomore Rachel Ridlinghafer tied the game 2-2 when she scored on a header with minutes left in the first half. Park had the corner kick assist.

Owens CC scored three goals in the final minutes of the second half.

Pima outshot Owens 19-9 and Gonzalez finished the game with four saves.

Veliz said the final scores don’t reflect PCC’s quality of play in the tournament.

“I don’t think either scoreline is indicative of the way we played,” she said.

The Aztecs finished the season with a 16-6-2 overall record and were 11-0-1 at the Kino North Grandstand.

Shields was named ACCAC conference Player of the Year after finishing with 21 goals for the season. Veliz was named ACCAC conference Coach of the Year.

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MEN’S SOCCER: Season ends after playoff loss

MEN’S SOCCER: Season ends after playoff loss

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By CALEB FOSTER

The season ended Nov. 20 for the Pima Community College men’s soccer team after a loss at the NJCAA national tournament in Prescott.

The No. 5 Aztecs advanced to the tournament quarterfinals before being eliminated. They fell 5-0 to a fourth-seeded Texas team, Tyler Junior College.

Pima finished the season at 21-5-1, with a 12-1-1 home record.

Their 21 wins were the most in a season under head coach David Cosgrove, who’s been with the program for 18 years. The previous record for wins was 19 in 2011.

“It was a terrific year for us,” Cosgrove said in a press release.

The Nov. 20 game was scoreless in the first half but went downhill for the Aztecs after play resumed.

“Tyler is very good and they were better or equal to us tonight,” Cosgrove said. “We didn’t score first and that hurt. We gave up some really bad goals.”

The Aztecs opened tournament play Nov. 19 with a 2-1 comeback victory against No. 9 Community College of Baltimore County-Essex.

CCBC-Essex scored in the fifth minute for an early lead.

Pima evened the score in the 24th minute when freshman Alejandro Gonzalez connected off an assist from freshman Hector Banegas.

Freshman Santiago Carrillo scored the go-ahead point in the 31st minute.

Carrillo’s goal turned out to be all that was needed for the win, as the second half turned into a defensive battle.

Freshman goalkeeper Sam Kavathas had three saves in the victory, including a game-winning save in the final seconds.

During the regular season, sophomore Arturo Vega was selected ACCAC Conference Player of the Year. Cosgrove also earned his 250th win.

Cosgrove called the season “a year to remember” and praised his team’s actions on and off the field.

“I couldn’t be happier with the numerous marks we set this year,” he said. “Our most wins in program history and our best home record ever. We also could have the best team GPA we’ve ever had.”

The team raised expectations for Pima soccer to another level, Cosgrove added.

“This group has changed the landscape,” he said.

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WOMEN'S SOCCER: Pima advances to Nationals

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Pima advances to Nationals

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By ADRIANNA BARRIENTEZ

Players on the Pima Community College women’s soccer team waved little toy alligators after winning the regional championship Nov. 1, signifying they are going to Florida to compete in the NJCAA national tournament Nov. 17-22.

The Aztecs will be the No. 7 national seed in the tournament at Eastern Florida State College in Melbourne, Fla.

In the Region I/District A championship game, No. 1 seeded Pima (16-4-2) rallied to defeat No. 2 Chandler-Gilbert Community College 3-1. Chandler-Gilbert was the team that knocked PCC from the semifinals last season.

In the Nov. 1 game, Chandler-Gilbert struck first with a goal in the 18th minute. The Aztecs responded in the 20th minute when sophomore forward Shannon Shields split two defenders and got past the Chandler-Gilbert goalkeeper for a goal. The score was tied 1-1 at halftime.

Shields put the Aztecs ahead for good with her second goal in the 60th minute. Freshman forward Devyn Hunley had the assist.

“I knew I was going to have to play big soccer to get the win and I think it was a matter of finding the goals,” Shields said.

Sophomore Kathy Fisher scored the final goal in the 81st minute, off a pass from Shields.

“Kathy has been working through an injury all season and for her to get that goal, especially in this game, was just icing on the cake,” Shields said.

Shields was named the Region I, Division I/District A Most Valuable Player.

Sophomore forward Rachel Ridlinghafer has also played a huge role for the Aztecs this season and said she feels great about the win.

“I’m so excited for our team to go to Florida and I couldn’t be happier,” she said.

On Oct. 29, the Aztecs won a hard-fought semifinal playoff game 2-1 against No. 4 Paradise Valley Community College. Paradise Valley won NJCAA national titles in 2010 and 2012.

Hunley scored Pima’s game-winning goal in the 85th minute.

Ridlinghafer scored first on a sliding goal in the 24th minute off an assist from Hunley. Paradise Valley tied the game with a goal in the 31st minute.

After Hunley scored Pima’s second goal, Paradise Valley fired a shot less than a minute later but sophomore goalkeeper Angelica Gonzalez made the save.

“It felt like it was a good match,” Gonzalez said. “They were not an easy opponent but the better team came out.”

The Aztecs outshot Paradise Valley 11-2.

Pima took top honors when the All-Conference/Region I teams were released on Oct. 27, with head coach Kendra Veliz named Coach of the Year and Shields selected as Player of the Year.

Shields scored 18 goals, had seven assists and led the team with 43 points during the regular season.

“It’s an incredible honor,” Shields said. “I really appreciate it but it’s really not an award without your team … couldn’t have done it without them.”

Pg13-Women's soccer team

Waving toy alligators to represent their upcoming trip to the national playoffs in Florida, players celebrate winning the regional championship. (Photo courtesy PCC)

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WOMEN'S SOCCER: PCC headed to national tournament

WOMEN’S SOCCER: PCC headed to national tournament

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By ADRIANNA BARRIENTEZ

Players on the Pima Community College women’s soccer team waved little toy alligators after winning the regional championship Nov. 1, signifying they are going to Florida to compete in the NJCAA national tournament.

The Aztecs will play in the national tournament in Melbourne, Fla., from Nov. 17-22.

No. 1 seeded Pima (16-4-2) rallied to defeat No. 2 Chandler-Gilbert Community College 3-1 to claim the Region I/District A championship. Chandler-Gilbert was the team that knocked PCC from the semifinals last season.

In the Nov. 1 game, Chandler-Gilbert struck first with a goal in the 18th minute. The Aztecs responded in the 20th minute when sophomore forward Shannon Shields split two defenders and got past the Chandler-Gilbert goalkeeper. The score was tied 1-1 at halftime.

Shields put the Aztecs ahead for good with her second goal in the 60th minute. Freshman forward Devyn Hunley had the assist.

“I knew I was going to have to play big soccer to get the win and I think it was a matter of finding the goals,” Shields said.

Sophomore Kathy Fisher scored the final goal in the 81st minute, off a pass from Shields.

“Kathy has been working through an injury all season and for her to get that goal, especially in this game, was just icing on the cake,” Shields said.

Shields was named the Region I, Division I/District A Most Valuable Player.

Sophomore forward Rachel Ridlinghafer has also played a huge role for the Aztecs this season and said she feels great about the win.

“I’m so excited for our team to go to Florida and I couldn’t be happier,” she said.

On Oct. 29, the Aztecs won a hard-fought semifinal playoff game 2-1 against No. 4 Paradise Valley Community College. Paradise Valley won NJCAA national titles in 2010 and 2012.

Hunley scored Pima’s game-winning goal in the 85th minute.

Ridlinghafer scored first on a sliding goal in the 24th minute off an assist from Hunley. Paradise Valley tied the game with a goal in the 31st minute.

After Hunley scored Pima’s second goal, Paradise Valley fired a shot less than a minute later but sophomore goalkeeper Angelica Gonzalez made the save.

“It felt like it was a good match,” Gonzalez said. “They were not an easy opponent but the better team came out.”

The Aztecs outshot Paradise Valley 11-2.

Pima took top honors when the All-Conference/Region I teams were released on Oct. 27, with head coach Kendra Veliz named Coach of the Year and Shields selected as Player of the Year.

Shields scored 18 goals, had seven assists and led the team with 43 points during the regular season.

“It’s an incredible honor,” Shields said. “I really appreciate it but it’s really not an award without your team … couldn’t have done it without them.”

Hunley earned first-team honors after she scored 11 goals, had five assists and finished with 27 points.

Ridlinghafer was named to the second team. She finished with 13 goals, eight assists and 34 points.

Sophomore midfielder Sarah Dunbar was also named to the second team. She scored four goals during the season.

Freshman midfielder Brandi Park received honorable mention. Park led the team with 10 assists to go along with four goals.

Pima claimed the ACCAC conference title and secured the No. 1 seed in the regional tournament on Oct. 25 with a 6-1 victory over GateWay Community College. PCC finished the regular season with an undefeated 9-0-1 record at the Kino North Grandstand, outscoring their opponents 39-6 at home.

Ridlinghafer scored a three-goal hat trick in the first half, and notched two assists. Hunley scored two goals and Shields had one.

On Oct. 23, Pima lost at Mesa Community College 3-2 in overtime. After a scoreless first half, the Aztecs found themselves down 2-0 in the second half. Ridlinghafer and Shields scored goals to force overtime.

The Aztecs took control of the second half in an Oct. 18 game against Cochise College, winning 2-0. Shields scored both goals.

The Aztecs’ defense held Cochise to two shots on goal, and Gonzalez stopped both attempts.

Pima defeated Paradise Valley Community College 1-0 on Oct. 16, with Shields launching a shot from 25 feet in the final minutes of the game. Sophomore Alexis Veney earned an assist, and Gonzalez made four saves.

Player of the year Shannon Shields disrupts a play against Gateway

Player of the year Shannon Shields disrupts a play against GateWay Community College. (Beto Hoyos/Aztec Press)

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MEN'S SOCCER: Pima wins regional championship

MEN’S SOCCER: Pima wins regional championship

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Compiled from a press release

The Pima Community College men’s soccer team (18-4-1) won the Region I, Division I championship on Nov. 1 as the No. 3 seeded Aztecs held off No. 4 Phoenix College 2-1 at the Kino North Grandstand.

Freshman Hector Banegas scored the first goal for the Aztecs in the 34th minute on a back-header. Sophomore Garrett Andreatta had the throw-in assist.

The Aztecs tacked on a second goal early in the second half when freshman Alejandro Gonzalez hit a shot into the right side of the net. Sophomore Christian Garcia-Cabello had the corner kick assist in the 47th minute.

Phoenix College scored on a penalty kick goal in the 55th minute. The Pima defense held off a couple of surges and freshman goalkeeper Sam Kavathas made two saves in the 79th and 87th minutes. Kavathas had four saves for the game.

The Aztecs will host No. 2 seed Otero Junior College, the Region 9 runner-up from La Junta, Colo., on Nov. 7 in the West District A semifinals. The game will be at the Kino Sports Complex North Stadium at 7 p.m.

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Compiled from a press release

The No. 3 seeded Pima Community College men’s soccer team defeated No. 2 Glendale Community College 4-1 in the Region I, Division I semifinals matchup in Peoria on Oct. 30.

The Aztecs will host No. 4 Phoenix College on Nov. 1 at 4 p.m. at the Kino North Grandstand in the Region I, Division I finals.

Phoenix College advanced to the championship game after upsetting No. 1 Yavapai College 2-1 in overtime on Oct. 30.

In Pima’s semifinal game, Glendale scored first on a free kick in the 24th minute. PCC responded with a goal by freshman Alex Rojo off an assist by freshman Alejandro Gonzalez in the 37th minute to make it 1-1 at halftime.

The Aztecs took the lead in the second half when freshman Santiago Carrillo scored on a penalty kick in the 52nd minute.

Rojo scored a second goal in the 63rd minute when Gonzalez found him on a cross-pass. Rojo then set up sophomore Arturo Vega for a goal in the 79th minute.

Pima outshot Glendale 10-5 for the game. Freshman goalkeeper Sam Kavathas finished with four saves.

By CALEB FOSTER

The No. 3 seeded Pima Community College men’s soccer team (16-4-1) defeated No. 6 Mesa Community College 4-1 in the Region I, Division I quarterfinals on Oct. 28 at the Kino North Grandstand.

Pima will play in the semifinals against No. 2 Glendale Community College at Pioneer Park in Peoria on Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. Results will be posted online at aztecpressonline.com.

In the quarterfinal game, sophomore midfielder Arturo Vega had a corner kick assist to freshman Santiago Carrillo in the 32nd minute to give Pima a 1-0 lead.

Freshman Alejandro Gonzalez made it 2-0 early in the second half when he netted a goal off an assist from freshman Hector Banegas.

Mesa scored to cut Pima’s lead in half but Vega quickly brought the Aztecs back. He took a back-heel pass from sophomore midfielder Christian Garcia-Cabello and fired a shot that hit the right post and went in.

Sophomore defender Garrett Andreatta scored Pima’s fourth goal in the 78th minute.

The Aztecs outshot Mesa 10-6 and freshman goalkeeper Sam Kavathas finished with five saves.

Vega entered the game as ACCAC/Region I Player of the Year. He led the team with 20 points for the season, scoring seven goals and recording six assists.

Garcia-Cabello and Andreatta were selected to the second team. Garcia-Cabello finished with three goals and two assists. Andreatta helped the Aztecs defense post nine shutouts.

The Aztecs capped off the regular season with a 7-0 win against GateWay Community College on Oct. 25.

Freshman Robert Gorman scored in the third minute, followed by freshman Alex Rojo in the 27th minute. A penalty kick by freshman Santiago Carrillo in the 32nd minute gave Pima a 3-0 lead at halftime.

The floodgates opened in the second half, with scores by Garcia-Cabello and freshman Christian Chavira. Sophomore Alberto Rivera added two goals in the 69th and 81st minutes.

Kavathas finished the game with two saves as the Aztecs allowed just three shots on goal.

On Oct. 23, the Aztecs beat Mesa Community College 4-1 in Mesa. Banegas scored two goals, while Rojo and Gorman added one each.

The Aztecs fell to No. 2 Yavapai College 1-0 in overtime on Oct. 18 at home. The game marked the first home loss for the Aztecs this season.

Regulation ended scoreless in a game dominated by defense on both sides. Yavapai scored in the 96th minute to win the game.

The Aztecs outshot Yavapai 3-2 in the loss. Kavathas had one save.

On Oct. 16, a dominant first half helped Pima defeat Paradise Valley Community College 5-1 at home.

Carrillo scored a goal in the first minute on a penalty kick. Andreatta netted two goals and Gonzalez scored one before halftime. Vega scored in the second half off an assist from freshman Osvaldo Varela in the 56th minute.

Arturo Vega displays his aggressiveness

Arturo Vega displays his aggressiveness. (Photo courtesy of PCC)

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Aztecs earn 11th win

Aztecs earn 11th win

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By ADRIANNA BARRIENTEZ

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team (11-3-2) rebounded from a loss with two hard-fought victories.

The Aztecs won a defensive battle Oct. 14, defeating Cochise College 1-0 in Douglas.

Sophomore Rachel Ridlinghafer scored the game’s only goal in the 19th minute off an assist from freshman Precilla Gonzalez. Sophomore goalkeeper Angelica Gonzalez had five of her eight saves in the second half.

Pima mounted a rally on Oct. 11 to defeat Scottsdale Community College 2-1. Gonzalez finished the game with six saves.

The Aztecs trailed 1-0 after the first half but came back in the second half. After an own-goal tied the game, freshman Larissa Adams scored the game-winner with an assist from freshman midfielder Brandi Park.

Park was named ACCAC Conference Player of the Week for Oct. 6-12, after scoring one goal and registering two assists for the week. She also received player of the week honors earlier in the season, for Sept. 1-7.

The Aztecs lost 3-2 at Chandler-Gilbert Community College on Oct. 9. The loss marked just the second time this season that Pima gave up three goals in a game. The last time was the first game of the season.

Sophomore Sarah Dunbar scored off an assist from freshman Devyn Hunley in the first half. Hunley netted a goal in the second half with an assist from freshman Callen Shelton.

On Oct. 7, the Aztecs scored four goals in the first half for a 4-1 win over Glendale Community College at Kino North. Four different Aztecs netted goals.

Sophomore Kathy Fisher scored midway through the first half with an assist from Shelton 

Ridlinghafer headed in a goal in the 31st minute after a cross-pass from Park. Three minutes later, Park scored on a free kick to make it 3-0.

Freshman Erin Gall scored just before halftime with an assist from Adams.

The Aztecs had seven of their eight shots on goal during the first half.

An Oct. 2 game at Phoenix College became a defensive struggle that finished in a 0-0 tie.

The Aztecs outshot Phoenix 8-0 in the first half and 18-5 for the game. Gonzalez finished the game with four saves, all in the second half. Sophomore Nikki Reed had eight shots on goal.

Pg15-Women's soccer Oct. 7

On Deck

Oct. 16: Paradise Valley CC, Kino North, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18: Cochise College, Kino North, 7 p.m.

Oct. 23: @ Mesa CC, 8 p.m.

Oct. 25: GateWay CC, Kino North, 7 p.m.

Oct. 27: NJCAA Region 1 Quarter Finals, TBA

Oct. 29: NJCAA Region 1 Semi-Finals, TBA

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Star loves playing close to home

Star loves playing close to home

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By ADRIANNA BARRIENTEZ

Sophomore Shannon Shields, a starting forward for the Pima Community College women’s soccer team, says soccer became a main focus during her teenage years.

“I played softball and soccer competitively until I was 13,” she said. “I chose soccer because at the time I had more interest in it, and personally thought I was better at soccer.”

After graduating from Sabino High School in 2013, she attended a Division 1 university in Texas for one year.

“Things there didn’t work out due to injuries and other things,” Shields said. “I’m so glad I chose Pima for my sophomore year. I love the team and I love playing in town so my parents can see me play.”

Shields gives all the credit to her parents for helping her be the soccer player she is today. She said her parents are her biggest fans and that she is forever grateful.

“When I started playing, they drove me around to practices and games and have always supported me,” she said. “When it came time to narrow down a school, they gave me great input but left the choices up to me.”

Her philosophy is to make school her top priority.

“Eventually soccer is going to come to an end and what I’m doing first and foremost is going to school,” she said. “School is No. 1 and soccer is a privilege for having good grades.”

Shields chose a different route than her older sister, who was a gymnast and a cheerleader.

Her father was athletic growing up, and coached her a lot when she was younger. She has also always looked up to her grandfather.

“He’s such a strong man and has always supported all of his kids and grandkids,” she said. “He’s an amazing man.”

Shields has scored in almost every game in which she’s played this season, and even scored a three-goal ‘hat trick” on Sept. 20. She was named the ACCAC Player of the Week for Aug. 25-31.

She thinks her teammates have high expectations for her, and places equally high demands on herself.

Sophomore teammate Alexis Veney said Shields shows an eagerness to win.

“She’s very persistent and she always follows through,” she said.

Veney also said Shields is a very positive person who helps everyone look on the bright side when they are down.

Shields injured her dominant left foot during a game against Glendale Community College on Oct. 7, but is taking precautions.

“I have to be a lot more careful when I shoot so I don’t hurt it more,” she said.

Shields enjoys her success playing forward but jokes that she want to be a goalkeeper because she likes to goof off in the net and make crazy saves.

She admits to being pretty goofy once you get to know her and says she can be pretty sarcastic, but in a good way.

Spare time is hard to come by. When she gets a free minute, she likes to sleep and watch “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Her playlist of music before games is mostly dubstep but she loves country music as well.

Head coach Kendra Veliz appreciates Shields’ attitude.

“Shannon is a hard working, motivated student-athlete,” Veliz said. “There are several things that make her the player she is but most of all I appreciate her competitiveness.”

Veliz also likes Shields’ work ethic.

“She works hard and the players know they can depend on her to give it her all,” she said.

Soccer star Shannon Shields is an important part of the team

Soccer star Shannon Shields is an important part of the team

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Soccer a tradition for Carrillos

Soccer a tradition for Carrillos

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By CALEB FOSTER

The Carrillo name is well recognized when it comes to Aztec soccer.

With two older brothers who have already gone though the program, freshman Santiago Carrillo, 19, has also joined the team as a defender.

Born and raised in Tucson, Carrillo has been playing soccer since he was 8.

That isn’t a surprise, considering his family’s history with the game.  What is surprising, though, is that Carrillo never played for a high school team. He played instead with Tucson Soccer Academy.

Carrillo is an important member of the Pima Community College team, and is well liked by teammates and coaches alike.

“Santi is the backbone,” head coach David Cosgrove said.

Cosgrove has known Carrillo since he was 9, and attributed his long relationship to the Carrillo family for being able to get him to play for the team.

“Santi’s a class player, he was being recruited to major colleges across the country,” Cosgrove said. “The thing I like about him is he’s very composed, very confident.

Cosgrove is very thankful to have Carrillo on the team and believes that he can make it to the next level.

His teammates offer compliments as well.

“He’s very reliable,” freshman goalkeeper Sam Kavathas said.

“His personality, it’s kind of out there, it’s real calm,” Kavathas added. “When he’s on the field is when you see his personality the most.”

Carrillo has had to overcome multiple injuries during his soccer career, including a broken jaw.

Three years ago, he underwent knee surgery and had his meniscus removed.

He’s recently faced other major life changes. His son was born three months ago.

“Soccer has really gotten my head out of a hole I got myself in and has helped me get through it,” he said.

Carrillo hopes to move on with his soccer career and play in the Seattle area. He has already had opportunities to play across the country but is waiting for the one that fits him the best.

Carrillo is majoring in criminal justice at Pima but his main focus is the game of soccer.

He believes soccer has been a learning experience. “It has taught me how to count on other people, how to communicate and how to work hard in a group,” he said.

Pg15-Santiago Carrillo profile

Freshman defender Santiago Carrillo helps anchor the Aztec backfield. (Caleb Foster/Aztec Press)

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Men's soccer; Streak earns coach 250th win

Men’s soccer; Streak earns coach 250th win

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By CALEB FOSTER

The Pima Community College men’s soccer team is on a roll, entering the second half of the season with a four-game win streak.

The Aztecs (9-2-1) defeated South Mountain Community College 4-1 in Phoenix on Sept. 27. The victory marked head coach David Cosgrove’s 250th win for Pima.

The Aztecs took a 3-0 lead at the half before tacking on one more in the second period.

Freshman Alex Rojo scored twice, and fellow freshmen Hector Banegas and Alejandro Gonzalez each had a goal. Freshman Sam Kavathas had three saves in the victory.

“It was a difficult game but a very mature and consistent performance from the team,” Cosgrove said.

Cosgrove said he was not aware that his 250th win was approaching until others began a countdown.

“I’ve gotten some unique calls and texts from coaches and alumni,” he said. “The kids congratulated me and that’s the best part. This is a great group to hit a milestone like that with.”

On Sept. 25, the Aztecs earned their sixth shutout of the season and third shutout in a row with a 3-0 victory against Arizona Western College. The Aztecs are undefeated at home.

Rojo scored first in the 18th minute off an assist from sophomore Christian Garcia-Cabello.

The Aztecs struggled with accuracy throughout the game but found their rhythm in the second half. Sophomore Arturo Vega stepped up and found the net in the 75th minute, and Rojo scored a second goal in the 84th minute.

“I thought we played well,” Cosgrove said. “We were solid defensively, we were good going forward. We just still have a real problem scoring goals when we play well.”

The Aztecs finished the first half of their season with a 3-0 win against GateWay Community College on Sept. 23.

Rojo, Banegas and freshman Osvaldo Varela all scored for the Aztecs. Pima outshot GateWay 14-2 and Kavathas ended the game with two saves.

Pima came ready to play against Mesa Community College on Sept. 20, and won 3-0.

Players had some trouble passing the ball to begin the game but soon got the offense to click. Freshman Santiago Carrillo scored first for the Aztecs off a penalty kick in the 24th minute.

Freshman Ryan Bristow and Rojo both scored in the second half to extend the Aztecs’ lead.

“I thought we could have been smarter in situations but we played hard and we played well,” Cosgrove said.

The Aztecs suffered a 2-1 loss Sept. 18 against No. 2-ranked Yavapai College in Prescott.

The Aztecs gave up a goal in the 10th minute. They were unable to find the net during the first half, despite controlling the ball and outshooting Yavapai 12-4.

Banegas scored off an assist from fellow freshman Sergio Anaya in the 62nd minute to tie the game at 1-1 but Yavapai answered within a minute to retake the lead.

Pima had an opportunity to tie the game in the 83rd minute on a shot that bounced off the top goal post, but it was saved by the goalkeeper.

The Aztecs were handed their second loss of the season despite outshooting Yavapai 23-11. Kavathas had two saves.

“This was our best game of the year but we need to reward ourselves when we play well,” Cosgrove said.

“I’m happy with the better quality of play and if we continue with that long term, good things will happen. In the short term, it’s a loss tonight.”

Cosgrove said the upcoming stretch of games would be brutal.

“We’ll find how deep we are,” he said. “It’s a good test for us.”

Pg15-Men's soccer-Alex Rojo by Caleb Foster

Freshman Alex Rojo holds off a double team en route to a goal during a home game at Kino North. (Caleb Foster/Aztec Press)

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photo by Larry Guarano

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Pima reaches No. 12 in national NJCAA poll

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By ADRIANNA BARRIENTEZ

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team jumped into the national polls when NJCAA Division I rankings were released Sept. 10. The Aztecs were ranked No. 12, after starting the preseason unranked.

Their season record stands at 4-2, with losses to Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix on Sept. 13 and to Arizona Western College in their opening game.

During their four-game win streak, the Aztecs scored 13 goals while surrendering one.

In Pima’s 2-1 loss to Paradise Valley, the Aztecs were down 2-0 after the first half. Sophomore Shannon Shields scored in the second half with an assist from sophomore Nikki Reed.

The Aztecs outshot Paradise Valley 19-8 and 7-6 in shots on goal. Sophomore goalkeeper Angelica Gonzalez finished the game with four saves.

On Sept. 11, the Aztecs earned their third straight shutout win when they defeated Scottsdale Community College 4-0 at the Kino North Grandstand. Four different players scored.

Sophomore Rachel Ridlinghafer scored in the third minute with a head shot after freshman Brandi Park delivered a corner kick.

Ridlinghafer assisted in the next goal, passing the ball to sophomore Shannon Shields for her goal in the 19th minute.

Freshman Devyn Hunley scored in the 39th minute, giving the Aztecs a 3-0 halftime lead.

Sophomore Larissa Adams added a goal in the 52nd minute with an assist from Shields.

Pima’s defense limited Scottsdale to four shots on goal. Gonzalez played in goal the first half and finished with three saves. Freshman Mason Howard was the goalkeeper in the second half and notched one save.

The Aztecs earned a 2-0 shutout on Sept. 6 against Chandler-Gilbert Community College at Kino.

It was the first time the two teams faced off since last year’s Region I, Division I semifinals match-up, which Pima lost 1-0.

Shields scored a goal in the 30th minute with a crossing-pass assist from Park.

“To come into this game and win is just amazing,” Shields said. “It’s a great feeling.”

The Aztecs grabbed their second goal during the second half, when Hunley scored in the 57th minute.

“Just getting it done, doing what we do best,” Hunley said.

Pima had 14 shots on goal. The defense limited Chandler-Gilbert to two shots on goal and Gonzalez finished with two saves.

“She did great,” Reed said of Gonzalez. “She’s always there and is always helping us.”

Pima’s Sept. 4 game at Glendale Community College was cancelled due to weather conditions. The game will be made up at a later date.

 

photo by Larry Guarano

team mates celebrate a goal en route to a victory

On Deck

Sept. 18: @ Cochise College, Douglas, 3 p.m.

Sept. 20: Mesa CC, Kino North, 7 p.m.

Sept. 23: @ Gateway CC, Phoenix, 7 p.m.

Sept. 25: Arizona Western College, Kino North, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27: @ South Mountain CC, Phoenix, 12:30 p.m.

Oct. 2: @ Phoenix College, Phoenix, 7 p.m.

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MEN'S SOCCER: Forceful play gives Aztecs winning record

MEN’S SOCCER: Forceful play gives Aztecs winning record

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By CALEB FOSTER

The Pima Community College men’s soccer team can be summed up in one word: aggressive.

The Aztecs have started the season with a 5-1-1 record, in large part by playing aggressively on both offense and defense.

With a 6-1 victory over Paradise Valley Community College on Sept. 13, the Aztecs showed they can be efficient on the road.

Pima took a 2-1 lead into halftime, but got things rolling in the second half.

The Aztecs had 13 shots on goal, and six different players scored. The goals came from sophomores Garrett Andreatta and Arturo Vega, and from freshmen Hector Banegas, Santiago Carrillo, Christian Chavira and Sadam Ali. Vega also had an assist.

Freshman goalkeeper Sam Kavathas ended the game with three saves.

On Sept. 11, the Aztecs beat Scottsdale Community College 3-0 at home to earn their third shutout of the season.

Sophomore Christian Garcia-Cabello scored in the fifth minute off a cross-pass from Vega to start a game that seemed all offense for the Aztecs.

Freshman Gabe Zepp netted a goal off a rebound in the 17th minute, and Carrillo scored on a penalty kick in the 55th minute.

The Aztecs outshot Scottsdale 11-5 and didn’t surrender a shot on goal in the second half.

A first-half breakdown by Pima’s defense gave Scottsdale its best scoring opportunity.

“We don’t make many mistakes but when we do it’s a big one,” head coach Dave Cosgrove said.

Kavathas earned one his three saves on the play.

There was no shortage of collisions in a Sept. 6 game against Chandler-Gilbert Community College. The Aztecs were down 2-1 at halftime, but battled back to end the game in a 2-2 tie.

Vega scored the first Aztec goal in the 20th minute from a free kick. Freshman Ryan Bristow scored the tying goal in the 59th minute off a cross-pass from freshman Emilio Villatoro.

Kavathas made a crucial stop on a penalty kick that could have been a deciding factor. He finished the game with five saves.

Cosgrove said he was happy with how his team was able to battle back from its 2-1 halftime deficit.

The Aztecs were handed their first loss of the season by Glendale Community College on Sept. 4.

Freshman Alejandro Gonzalez tied the game at 1-1 just before the half.  Glendale scored two unanswered goals to finish the game with a 3-1 win.

Pg15-Men's soccer-Eddy

Freshman Alejandro Gonzalez kicks the ball past several Scottsdale Community College defenders for a shot on goal on Sept. 11. (Eduardo Caldera/Aztec Press)

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