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WOMEN'S SOCCER: Pima takes second place in conference

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Pima takes second place in conference

By MARIA ANGULO

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team lost 3-0 to No. 1 Paradise Valley Community College in the Region I, Division I championship final on Oct. 29.

The Aztecs won the championship in the previous two years and advanced to the NJCAA National Tournament. They finished in sixth place nationally in 2015 and in 11th place in 2014.

Paradise Valley set the tone early in the 2016 game, scoring three goals before the eight-minute mark.

The Aztecs played defense for much of the first half, and were outshot 12-9. Sophomore goalkeeper Daniela Sanchez finished with nine saves.

Pima mounted more shots on goal in the second half, but never scored.

Paradise Valley swept Pima this season. The Aztecs lost 1-0 on the road in the first game of the season, and fell 3-2 at Kino North Stadium in September.

PCC advanced to the championship game by beating the Chandler-Gilbert Community College Coyotes 2-1 on the road in the Oct. 26 semifinal.

The Aztecs scored first in the 28th minute with a goal by sophomore Destiny Jones. The Coyotes tied the game in the 35th minute.

The game went to overtime, and the winning goal came in the 102th minute from Pima freshman Alexis Hernandez off an assist from sophomore Maury Urcadez.

“We worked for it and it feels like a dream,” Hernandez said. “It was a perfect ball from Maury. They were getting tired at the end of the second half and we got more chances. We just kept pounding.”

Sanchez ended the game with nine saves.

Pima, playing with six sophomores and 14 freshmen, ended its season with a 16-6-1 record.

Urcadez was named first-team All ACCAC/All Region. Hernandez, Jones and Sanchez were named to the second team. Sophomore Sonia Garcia was honorable mention.

Sophomores with the second place plaque: Daniela Sanchez, Sonia Garcia, Shania Pablo, Alexis Aguirre, Destiny Jones, Maria Delgadillo, Maury Urcadez. (Photo by Ben Carbajal)

Sophomores with the second place plaque: Daniela Sanchez, Sonia Garcia, Shania Pablo, Alexis Aguirre, Destiny Jones, Maria Delgadillo, Maury Urcadez. (Photo by Ben Carbajal)

MEN'S SOCCER: New rule eliminates Aztecs from playoffs

MEN’S SOCCER: New rule eliminates Aztecs from playoffs

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Head coach Dave Cosgrove, left, talks at a press conference Nov. 2 as four of his players listen to explanations to the team’s disqualifications. (Eddie Celaya/Aztec Press)

 

By FRANCISCO ZAPATA

A post-game altercation involving Pima Community College and Phoenix College players and fans controversially disqualified the Pima men’s soccer team from further postseason play.

The Aztecs won their third consecutive Division I, Region I title Oct. 29 after defeating Phoenix College 3-1.

The win qualified PCC for a four-team NJCAA West District Tournament in Cheyenne, Wyoming on Nov. 4. A win at that tournament would have guaranteed Pima a spot in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament, where they finished third last year.

Instead, the post-game brawl ended Pima’s season. It began when a Phoenix College athlete struck a Pima athlete on the Kino North Stadium soccer field.

Some Pima players stopped their post-game celebration and dashed to the aid of their teammate. Fans hopped the fence and ran onto the field.

According to video evidence presented by PCC Athletic Director Edgar Soto, one fan punched the Phoenix coach. Three Pima players were punched by opposing team members, but no Pima players threw punches.

The Phoenix College athletic director emailed Soto on Nov. 2, apologizing on behalf of the Phoenix players who initiated the fight. She also thanked Soto and his staff for de-escalating the situation.

During a Nov. 2 press conference, Soto applauded the men’s team for showing discipline.

“Our student-athletes did an outstanding job,” Soto said. “Not one of our student-athletes retaliated or threw a punch.”

After providing a statement to the NJCAA about the post-game altercation, Soto received an email on Nov. 1 from NJCAA Executive Director Mary Leicht.

“Due to the bench-clearing incident, all student-athletes and staff from both institutions will be charged with a violent ejection,” Leicht wrote. “In the case of PCC, a two-game suspension will result in an insufficient number of student-athletes to participate in the 2016 NJCAA Division I Men’s Soccer West District Playoff.”

Soto said the email left him in disbelief.

“It was a shocker to me when I got it that morning,” he said. “If anything, I was waiting to hear back and be commended and thanked for having our athletes behave in the proper way.”

A rule implemented by the NJCAA on April 1 sparked Pima’s elimination.

The general sportsmanship rule, Article 18, Section 2, A.1.c, says a violent ejection is warranted when “any bench personnel other than the head coach leave the bench area or designated warm-up area when a fight may break out or has broken out.”

Soto strongly disagreed with the NJCAA’s ruling.

“Where this rule is unclear and where we disagree with the NJCAA is how this rule was interpreted,” he said. “This was a post-game situation, there was a celebration, there was an incident that took place.”

Records from the head referee show four Phoenix student-athletes were given red cards during the game, three for fighting and one for verbal abuse of officials.

No Pima players were carded, but head coach David Cosgrove was red-carded early in the first half for arguing with officials. It was his third ejection in 19 years as Pima head coach.

“I was removed from the game, and rightfully so,” Cosgrove said.

At the Nov. 2 news conference, Cosgrove tried to gather himself as he stood before media outlets, parents and players.

“I’m really proud of my kids,” he said. “In the worst possible scenario on a soccer field, they handled themselves exactly how I wanted them to.”

Cosgrove took responsibility for his players’ actions, but felt they behaved properly.

“The instructions are very simple before the game,” he said. “Walk away, put your teammates before yourself and if somebody’s in trouble, go get them out of trouble.”

The NJCAA said running toward the brawl to restrain or protect teammates “escalated the incident, as evidenced in the game video.”

Pima’s elimination sent Yavapai College to the West District Tournament. The Roughriders were eliminated in the first game, losing 3-1 to Trinidad State College.

Pima has appealed the NJCAA ruling, but a decision will come too late for this year’s team.

Sophomores lost an opportunity to compete for a national title and to play in front of university scouts.

However, a favorable appeal would remove returning freshmen from suspension for the first two games next season.

PCC finished the 2016 season with an 18-3-1 record and ranked No. 9 in the nation.

The team was also on a nine-game winning streak.

Pima advanced to the championship game by eliminating the Arizona Western College Matadors in a 2-1 home victory on Oct. 27.

That game was also action-packed, with aggressive play from both sides. Play was stopped numerous times and the referee disciplined players while trying to control the sidelines.

Visit aztecpressonline.com for detailed accounts of the games.

“I have tremendous pride in what we’ve accomplished,” Cosgrove said. “The kids were fantastic. I couldn’t be more proud.”

MEN'S SOCCER: Phoenix College sparks brawl, Aztecs left out of nationals

MEN’S SOCCER: Phoenix College sparks brawl, Aztecs left out of nationals

By EDDIE CELAYA

The Pima Community College men’s soccer team was the victim of a bench-clearing brawl, resulting in its elimination from the post season and leaving the athletic department to deal with a situation worthy of its own Netflix series.

A press conference was held in the West Campus Creative Writing Center to deal with the fallout after the Arizona Community College Athletic Association championship game.

PCC Chancellor Lee Lambert led off the news conference by thanking the players and head coach Dave Cosgrove for their demeanor during the incident and throughout the season.

“I want to thank all the players for the outstanding season you delivered not only for yourselves and this college but for this community, it was outstanding,” he said, to the applause of parents in attendance.

As Lambert continued, he informed the audience of the National Junior College Athletics Association ruling.

“Unfortunately, yesterday we received some bad news,” he said. “That bad news was that our men’s soccer team, and many of the players, would be disqualified from playing the next two games. I think you know what that means.”

Lambert expressed disappointment at the ruling, and then introduced PCC Athletics Director Edgar Soto to further address the crowd.

“We have a situation where interpretation of a rule and how it is looked at is at issue,” Soto said. “The rule, which was implemented April 1, basically says that ‘if there is any attempt’ made towards an incident going on, it will be treated as if it’s a bench-clearing situation.”

Soto explained that the NCJAA interpreted the rule, Article 18, to include end of game situations. “Where this rule is unclear, and where we disagree, is how this rule is interpreted during a post-game situation; there was a celebration.”

Soto then made clear that PCC’s coaches and players reacted appropriately. “Our young men, our coaches, did an outstanding job,” he said. “Not one of our student-athletes retaliated, threw a punch. They knew what was on the line.”

Soto acknowledged that an unidentified PCC fan did “hit the head coach from Phoenix College,” and that coach Cosgrove was ejected earlier in the game for a red card. However, Soto noted it was Cosgrove’s third red card in 19 years.

Questions from the audience followed, with local news outlets and parents attempting to understand both what led up to the brawl and the subsequent punishment.

Soto pointed out that with the implementation of Article 18 by the NJCAA in April, there was no right to appeal. “There is no appeal process, but we are exploring all our options and will continue to do so.”

Soto continued, detailing what evidence was submitted to the NJCAA from the referees on the field. “The head official sent a report, he sent it saying four student athletes had received red cards post-game.”

Soto also sent a statement.

“We watched the video, and when I sent my statement in I mentioned nobody from PCC was involved in any pushing or shoving,” he said. “I thought I was going to get something back from the NJCAA commending us.”

As the press conference continued, parents of Aztec players began to question the NJCAA’s rationale and interpretation of the incident.

Michael Anderson, father of goalkeeper Taylor Anderson, was frustrated by the apparent duplicity of the NJCAA’s rule. “How can they make a decision like this when it’s post-season?” he said. “Then not let there be an appeal? It’s a double standard.”

Soto concurred, adding that in reaching out to the NJCAA, he had proposed a re-thinking of Article 18. “If this is the rule, this is something that needs to be explored by our national office, our region, our ADs, to do something to possibly change this rule.”

Another parent asked if the NJCAA’s ruling would affect the player’s permanent records or playing careers. Soto was quick to point out that current freshman would have to serve a one-game suspension next season.

“As far as the sophomores, what bothers us is that our sophomores were probably going to make the national championship and be seen by anywhere from 50 to 100 college scouts, so their opportunities to get looked at and scouted are not there,” Soto said.

The focus then shifted to video evidence taken from multiple cameras, including Phoenix College’s gamecast.

“We did get some video from fans as well,” Soto said. “Every video we’ve seen, none of our student-athletes retaliated, punched anybody or any of those situations.”

Parents then began to complain about how the video evidence was utilized by the NJCAA to arrive at its decision. “This whole statement is pretty much going off what they see in a piece of video,” Anderson said.

Lambert assured the crowd that PCC was pursuing all options but that the executive director of the NJCAA, Mary Ellen Leicht, said other colleges had been in similar situations.

“The policy is such that it is a no tolerance policy, and she kept reiterating that,” Lambert said.

Soto then pulled up an email sent earlier in the day from Phoenix College’s athletic director Samantha Ezell. In it, Ezell assumes responsibility for Phoenix College’s role in the incident.

“I want to take this opportunity to apologize to you for the actions of our student-athletes, it was clear we initiated the fight and the entire incident,” Ezell wrote.

Soto then addressed the motivation behind the NJCAA’s implementation of Article 18 by citing the Netflix original series “Last Chance U.” The series concludes with an episode detailing a bench-clearing brawl and its aftermath.

“That’s why this rule was put in, because of that situation directly,” Soto said.

The proceedings became emotional as Cosgrove addressed the crowd.

“First I want to say, my relationship with PCC goes back almost 30 years as a student-athlete and as a coach,” he said, pausing to compose himself.

The room fell silent.

“At no point have I ever felt such great support from administration. The universal support of the administration is somewhat emotional.”

Cosgrove then praised his players. “In the worst possible scenario on a soccer field, they handled themselves exactly the way I wanted them to.”

After finishing his statement, Cosgrove took questions from the media and parents. A reporter from the Aztec Press asked if the officials had let the game get out of hand.

“I’m not comfortable discussing officiating,” Cosgrove said. Almost immediately, multiple parents interjected.

“Yes,” they said, in unison.

“I’ll let the referee report speak for itself,” Cosgrove said. “I will say though, in all transparency, I was removed from the game, and rightfully so. That decision was not inappropriate.”

The proceedings then changed tone again, as another video of the incident was shown. That’s when Sean Stoermer, father of midfielder Justin Stoermer, began to speak.

“They made this decision out of haste, I’m sorry I am speaking out,” he said. “Because they’ve showed these sophomore players a grave injustice and denied them opportunity. There is always room for interpretation, if they get this video, I highly recommend they reconsider.”

Soto confirmed that he would send all additional video to the NJCAA for consideration, and that PCC would be sending a letter to the NJCAA’s national office.

The rest of the conference consisted of a blow-by-blow analysis of the first videotape. Parents also thanked Cosgrove for the part he played in their children’s lives.

“I just want to say, I think for everyone in here, you’ve been with a lot of our boys since they were small all the way up to now,” Anderson said. “You’ve never done any wrong, everything positive, and I just want to thank you right now.”

The crowd broke out in applause.

 

MEN’S SOCCER: Aztecs win region championship

MEN’S SOCCER: Aztecs win region championship

By FRANCISCO ZAPATA

The No. 2 Pima Community College men’s soccer team secured its third consecutive Region I, Division I championship Oct. 29 in a 3-1 home victory over the No. 5 Phoenix College Bears.

PCC (18-3-1) now heads to a four-team NJCAA West District Tournament in Cheyenne, Wyoming on Nov. 4.

The No. 9 ranked Aztecs will play No. 16 Trinidad State Junior College (15-4) in the second semifinal match-up on Nov. 4 at 3 p.m.

The first semifinal game will feature host No. 10 ranked Lamarie County Community College (17-2) vs. College of Southern Nevada (15-3-2) at noon.

The winners will advance to the West District championship game on Nov. 5 at 12:30 p.m. and are guaranteed a spot in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in Tyler, Texas. The national tournament is Nov. 14-19 at the Pat Hartley Soccer Complex.

Oct. 29: PCC 3, Phoenix College 1

Pima’s championship win marked its third straight NJCAA Region I, Division I title. The Aztecs have now defeated the Bears in the last three championship games.

In comments before the game, head coach Dave Cosgrove predicted a battle.

“I think Phoenix College has the best talent, player-for-player,” Cosgrove said. “They’re playing unbelievable soccer.”

The first half was scoreless as each team struggled to find its groove. Both teams narrowly missed scoring opportunities as shots hit the goal post multiple times.

The action-packed second half opened with a Pima scare as sophomore Hector Banegas was carted off the field in the 50th minute. Banegas returned to the game 15 minutes later.

A minute later, the Bears scored the game’s opening goal.

Pima freshman Gavino Carranza helped the Aztecs respond when he scored three minutes later directly off a free kick. He was later named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

At the 56-minute mark, freshman Julian Gaona converted a pass received from sophomore Justin Stoermer into a 2-1 lead for Pima.

The Aztecs put their stamp on the championship when freshman A.J. Valenzuela scored in the 80th minute.

Valenzuela was assisted by sophomore Lorenzo Rodriguez, who had an impressive outing after replacing injured freshman Chris Cooper in the first half.

Sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Anderson made three saves to keep the Bears from clawing back.

The Aztecs split with the Bears during the regular season. Pima beat Phoenix 2-1 at home in August but was shut out 4-0 on the road in early October.

Oct. 27: PCC 2, AWC 1

Pima reached the championship game by eliminating No. 3 Arizona Western College 2-1 in a Region I, Division I semifinal home game on Oct. 27.

Banegas scored the winning goal during a game in which emotions ran high.

Cooper scored a header in the eighth minute, with fellow freshman Andrew Bianchi providing the assist. Pima went into the halftime break up 1-0.

The second half was action-packed with aggressive play from both sides. The referee stopped play numerous times due to fouls, and disciplined players while trying to control the sidelines.

The opposing coaches engaged in verbal confrontations regarding the physical play. Cosgrove was intent on protecting his players, whom he felt were on the bad end of many foul challenges.

“Western played fantastic, I know it was competitive,” Cosgrove said. “And a little bit out of what’s acceptable.”

The Matadors’ Fabian Munoz was the villain for Pima due to multiple fouls that had the packed Kino North Stadium fans shouting at officials.

After Munoz leveled the score for the Matadors in the 76th minute, he ran in front of the Pima bench to celebrate. He kissed the team patch on his jersey while teammates rallied around him.

The Matadors lost their composure late. Three AWC players were temporarily removed from the game due to picking up yellow cards for arguing with the official over a foul call.

Banegas took advantage of the substitutions when he beat the goalkeeper to the far post to score a dramatic game-winning goal for Pima in the 88th minute. Bianchi provided a pass to earn the assist.

The stadium erupted as Banegas ran towards the Pima bench in triumph, where he was tackled by teammates in jubilation. The victory was Cosgrove’s 300th win as Pima head coach.

“I think discipline makes a big difference in games,” Cosgrove said “We were disciplined and they weren’t, and they paid the price for it.”

The Aztecs played to a scoreless tie in Yuma in September and beat the Matadors 6-0 in the final regular-season game on Oct. 20 at Kino.

Banegas’ goal in the semifinal game was his 17th of the season, though he refused to take full credit for winning the game.

“We’re a team,” he said. “It’s not just me, it’s all of us.”

PCC advanced to the playoffs with seven straight victories.

 Oct. 13: PCC 3, Glendale CC 0

Pima traveled to Glendale Community College and secured its fourth consecutive victory with a 3-0 shutout.

Freshman Julian Gaona continued his stellar season with two goals in the first five minutes. Sophomore Kyle VanAlstine and freshman Tatsuma Yuki provided the assists.

Cooper scored in the 71st minute off an assist by Banegas.

Sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Anderson provided three saves.

The Aztecs swept the home-and-away series versus Glendale, beating the Gauchos at Kino North Stadium in a 5-4 thriller in September.

 Oct. 19: PCC 3, Mesa CC 1

Pima men’s soccer picked up a 3-1 home victory over the Mesa Community College Thunderbirds.

Banegas scored from the penalty spot in the 26th minute after Cooper was brought down in the penalty box.

Cooper continued to stretch the Thunderbirds’ defense by taking on defenders with his speed and quick feet. He scored the game’s second goal in the 60th minute off an assisted by Yuki.

The Thunderbirds capitalized on a penalty kick in the 73rd minute, cutting Pima’s lead to 2-1.

While Mesa was pushing forward for the equalizing goal, Pima mounted a counter attack with 42 seconds remaining.

Gaona received the ball just past midfield, then outraced three defenders toward the goal. He shot from the right side of the penalty area and struck the top left corner of the net.

“It was a great game to prepare for the playoffs,” Gaona said.

Sophomore Hector Benegas beats the AWC goalkeeper to score the game-winning goal Oct. 27. (Photo by Ben Carbajal)

Sophomore Hector Benegas beats the AWC goalkeeper to score the game-winning goal Oct. 27. (Photo by Ben Carbajal)

WOMEN'S SOCCER: Pima takes second place in conference

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Pima takes second place in conference

By MARIA ANGULO

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team lost 3-0 to No. 1 Paradise Valley Community College in the Region I, Division I championship final on Oct. 29.

The road loss marked the third straight year that Pima (16-6-1) reached the finals without advancing to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament.

The Pumas set the tone early, scoring three goals before the eight-minute mark.

The Aztecs played defense for much of the first half, and were outshot 12-9. Sophomore goalkeeper Daniela Sanchez finished with nine saves.

Pima mounted more shots on goal in the second half, but never scored.

Paradise Valley swept Pima this season. The Aztecs lost 1-0 on the road in the first game of the season, and fell 3-2 at Kino North Stadium in September.

Pima advanced to the championship game by beating the Chandler-Gilbert Community College Coyotes 2-1 on the road in an Oct. 26 semifinal game.

The Aztecs were the first to score in the 28th minute with a goal by sophomore Destiny Jones. The Coyotes tied the game with a goal in the 35th minute.

The game went to overtime, and the winning goal came in the 102th minute by Pima freshman Alexis Hernandez after an assist from sophomore Maury Urcadez.

“We worked for it and it feels like a dream,” Hernandez said. “It was a perfect ball from Maury. They were getting tired at the end of the second half and we got more chances. We just kept pounding.”

Sanchez ended the game with nine saves.

Pima  advanced to the playoff semifinals on Oct. 24 with a 1-0 quarterfinal win over Glendale Community College.

The Aztecs ended the regular season with a 14-1-5 record.

Five Aztecs were recognized when the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference released its All-ACCAC women’s soccer team.

Urcadez was named first-team All ACCAC/All Region. Hernandez, Jones and Sanchez were named to the second team. Sophomore Sonia Garcia was honorable mention. 

Oct. 24: PCC 1, Glendale CC, 0

Despite an hour-long weather delay, the Aztecs beat the Glendale Gauchos 1-0

Both teams had aggressive starts but Pima controlled the game.

“I think we dominated our half of the field,” Jones said. “We didn’t have much activity on our side and that definitely helped.”

Jones scored in the 25th minute with an assist from Hernandez.

“It feels good,” Jones said. “Our team as a whole work well together and it was nice to put it away.”

During the regular season, the Aztecs beat Glendale 2-0 and tied them Oct. 13 in a scoreless game.

Head coach Kendra Veliz said the rain delay affected the team a bit, but the team got the win it needed.

“We are happy to move on and we are excited to play Chandler-Gilbert in the semis,” she said.

Oct. 20: Pima 5, AWC 1

The Aztec closed the regular season with authority, beating the Matadors of Arizona Western College 5-1 at home.

After the Matadors scored first in the 35th minute, the Aztecs tied the game with a goal by Hernandez.

Pima dominated in the second half, scoring four times.

Jones scored with a penalty kick in the 54th minute and then again in the 75th minute off an assist from Urcadez.

Sophomore Shania Pablo scored in the 78th minute and freshman Nereida Sanchez scored the final goal in the 81st minute.

Sanchez ended the game with seven saves.

Before the game, sophomore players Sanchez, Jones, Pablo, Urcadez, Maria Delgadillo, Alexis Aguirre and Sonia Garcia were honored.

The Aztecs also celebrated the 20th year of the women’s soccer program with alumni from 1996 and 1997 in attendance. They included Amber Saarinen, Paige Watson, Christina Arredondo, April Valenzuela, Colleen Nagore and Lia Pierse.

Former assistant coaches Monique Vallery and Cynthia Saldamando were also present, as was former trainer Ben Carbajal.

This game marked the 200th win for head coach Kendra Veliz.

“What a great way for all of us to end the regular season, on our home field and with women who started the program in the stands,” Veliz said. “I’m happy the sophomores got this win on their day. I truly believe they deserved to have this moment.”

Oct. 18: PCC 1, Mesa CC 0

PCC beat Mesa Community College 1-0 in a home game at Kino North Stadium.

Freshman Daelyn Mayer scored in the 77th minute, off a corner kick from Urcadez. Pima outshot Mesa 9-5.

The Aztec swept the Thunderbirds this season, winning their previous game 4-1.

Oct. 13: PCC 0, Glendale CC 0

Pima traveled to Glendale Community College and ended with its first tie of the season. The Aztecs outshot the Gauchos 6-3 but neither team scored.

Earlier in the season, PCC beat Glendale by a 2-0 margin.

 

 

 

 

WOMEN'S SOCCER: Aztecs win 4 of 5 in two-week stretch

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Aztecs win 4 of 5 in two-week stretch

 

Freshman forward Alexis Hernandez races for the goal while pursued by Scottsdale defenders on Oct. 6 at Kino North Stadium

Freshman forward Alexis Hernandez races for the goal while pursued by Scottsdale defenders on Oct. 6 at Kino North Stadium. (Aztec Press photo by Ashley Munoz)

By MARIA ANGULO

 

With three regular contests left, including two home games, the Pima Community College women’s soccer team has compiled a 12-5 season record.

Oct. 1: PCC 2, Phoenix College 0

The Aztecs defeated the Phoenix College Bears 2-0, giving them their fourth straight road win.

Pima took the lead in the first half when sophomore Shania Pablo scored in the 22nd minute with an assist from freshman Taylor Inocencio.

The Aztecs secured the game in the second half with a goal from freshman Dalena Garcia.

The Bears kept the Pima defense working, outshooting the Aztecs 8-6. Sophomore goalkeeper Daniela Sanchez had eight saves.

Pima swept the Bears this season, winning an August home game 3-1.

Oct. 4: PCC 5, Cochise College 0

Pima dominated the Apaches of Cochise College, winning 5-0.

Freshman Alexis Hernandez scored in the second minute with an assist from sophomore Maury Urcadez.

Sophomore Sonia Garcia followed with a 40-yard free-kick goal in the 25th minute. A minute later, sophomore Destiny Jones scored off an assist from Urcadez.

In the second half, freshman Jahmonique Smith scored in the 66th minute. Freshman Dalena Garcia found the net from 30 yards out at the 78-minute mark.

The Apaches did not have many opportunities at goal. Sanchez had no saves in the first half, while freshman goalkeeper Tara Kase recorded three saves in the second half.

 Oct. 6: PCC 2, Scottsdale CC 0

After losing in double overtime at Scottsdale Community College a month ago, the Aztecs got a measure of revenge with a 2-0 home victory.

Sophomore Alexis Aguirre scored on a rebound shot in the 4th minute. In the second half, Jones scored on a 25-yard shot in the 71st minute.

The Aztecs outshot the Artichokes 14-6. Sanchez finished with six saves.

 Oct. 8: Pima 1, GateWay CC 0

The Aztecs earned their fifth straight win when they defeated the Geckos of GateWay College 1-0 at Kino North Stadium.

Urcadez gave Pima the lead with a long shot in the first half, and the defense secured a shutout. The Aztecs outshot the Geckos 15-4, with Sanchez getting four saves.

Sanchez was later named ACCAC goalkeeper of the week after helping secure three shutout victories between Oct. 4-8.

The GateWay victory marked the 198th career win at Pima for head coach Kendra Veliz.

Oct.11: Pima 0, Chandler-Gilbert CC 1

Pima suffered its second home loss, falling 1-0 to Chandler-Gilbert Community College. The Coyotes scored in the 66th minute.

MEN'S SOCCER: Team secures 13th victory of season

MEN’S SOCCER: Team secures 13th victory of season

By FRANCISCO ZAPATA

 The No.14 Pima Community College men’s soccer team (13-3-1) suffered two consecutive shutout defeats, including their first home loss in two years.

The Aztecs responded by claiming three straight victories, outscoring opponents 7-2 in that three-game stretch.

 Oct 1: PCC 0, Phoenix College 4

Pima suffered its worst defeat of the season in a 4-0 road loss to the Bears of Phoenix College.

The Aztecs struggled mightily to have any offensive imprint, but trailed the Bears 2-0 at halftime.

Pima also trailed Phoenix College at halftime when the Aztecs played at home on Aug. 30. They won that first meeting 2-1, but were unable to replicate their previous comeback. Instead, they conceded two more goals.

 Oct. 4: PCC 0, Yavapai College 2

The Aztecs were shut out for the second consecutive game, losing 2-0 to No. 6 Yavapai College. The defeat was their first home loss in two years.

Pima orchestrated chances as sophomores Hector Banegas and Carlo Valadez-Paz both struck the outside of the posts on goal-scoring opportunities. The Aztecs ultimately outshot the Yavapai Roughriders 4-3 on the night.

After a scoreless first half, the visitors scored the opening goal of the game in the 58th minute. They scored an insurance goal in the 69th minute for the win.

Sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Anderson finished the game with one save.

The loss was Pima’s second to Yavapai this season. The Aztecs also lost 2-1 in the last minute of a game in Prescott on Sept. 3.

 Oct. 6: PCC 3, Scottsdale CC 0

Pima ended its two-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over the Scottsdale Community College Artichokes at Kino North Stadium.

The Aztecs lead 1-0 at halftime thanks to an own-goal by the Artichokes.

Pima freshman Tatsuma Yuki scored in the 85th minute, with sophomore Hector Banegas providing the assist. Banegas capitalized on a penalty kick in the 88th minute.

Pima held Scottsdale to one shot on goal, and Anderson finished the game with one save.

The win represented a season sweep against Scottsdale. The Aztecs won 2-0 on the road in September.

 Oct. 8: PCC 1, GateWay CC 0

Pima snuck a 1-0 victory against the Geckos of GateWay Community College in Phoenix with a decisive second-half goal, giving the Aztecs their 12th win on the season.

The Aztecs played strong defense throughout the game but struggled to find the back of the net until sophomore Andrew Bianchi broke the deadlock in the 54th minute. Valadez-Paz provided the assist.

Pima finished with nine shots for the game, and held the Geckos to zero shots on goal.

The Aztecs swept the home and away series against the Geckos, beating them 2-0 at Kino North Stadium in September.

 Oct. 11: PCC 3, Chandler-Gilbert CC 2

The Aztecs captured their 13th victory of the season against a feisty Chandler-Gilbert Community College Coyotes squad.

Sophomore Kyle VanAlstine put the Aztecs in front after heading home a corner kick delivered by sophomore midfielder Lorenzo Rodriguez in the 28th minute.

The Coyotes equalized in the 55th minute.

Sophomore Justin Stoermer scored an impressive solo goal, dancing through multiple defenders before firing a shot Pima’s second goal in the 64th minute.

The Coyotes, who were down a man due to a red card picked up just minutes earlier, clawed their way back once again in the 79th minute.

Yavapai defenders move in on Pima freshman midfield Chris Cooper on Oct. 4 at Kino North Stadium.

Yavapai defenders move in on Pima freshman midfield Chris Cooper on Oct. 4 at Kino North Stadium.(Aztec Press photo by Francisco Zapata)

Freshman Julian Gaona provided the game winner for Pima in the 83rd minute, assisted by fellow freshman TatsumaYuki.

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Aztecs seeking road to playoffs

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Aztecs seeking road to playoffs

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.”

pg14-womens-soccer-hernandez-alexis-courtesy-pcc

Freshman Alexis Hernandez slides for the ball during a home game. The high-scoring forward scored twice in a Sept. 22 upset of No. 20 AWC. (Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

ON DECK

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.

MEN'S SOCCER: Aztecs ride eight-game unbeaten streak

MEN’S SOCCER: Aztecs ride eight-game unbeaten streak

By FRANCISCO ZAPATA

 The Pima Community College men’s soccer team is on an eight-game unbeaten streak, with a record of 10-1-1.

Sophomore Hector Banegas leads the team in scoring, while freshmen Julian Gaona and Chris Cooper have provided strong and evolving play that continues to elevate the Aztecs.

Sept. 20: PCC 2, Mesa CC 1

The sixth-ranked Aztecs grabbed their eighth win of the season from Mesa Community College, scraping out a 2-1 road victory.

The Thunderbirds scored first in the 28th minute and Pima went into halftime trailing the hosts 1-0.

Freshman forward Julian Gaona evened the score at 1-1 for Pima in the 60th minute, assisted by freshman midfielder Chris Cooper.

Sophomore forward Hector Banegas continued his scoring ways in the 88th minute, converting a penalty kick that provided Pima with the game-winning goal.

The kick lifted Banegas to a team-high 10 goals in nine games after coming off of a broken ankle injury suffered in 2015.

Sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Anderson posted a season-high six saves.

 Sept. 22: PCC 0, Arizona Western College 0

Neither team was able to score when Pima traveled to No. 12 Arizona Western in Yuma. Goalkeeper Anderson finished the night with four saves for PCC.

The game was the first of the season in which the Aztecs were held scoreless.

Sept. 24: PCC 7, Paradise Valley CC 1

Pima grabbed its ninth win of the season in a 7-1 victory over the Paradise Valley Community College Pumas at Kino North Stadium. Sophomore Carlo Valadez-Paz sparked the Aztecs with three second-half goals.

After a slow Pima start, Gaona scored in the 38th minute off a rebound. Cooper scored in the 41st minute off an assist by Gaona, giving the Aztecs a 2-0 lead at the break.

A minute into the second half, Valadez-Paz found the back of the net after receiving an assist from Cooper.

The Pumas scored in the 53rd minute, cutting Pima’s lead to 3-1.

Valadez-Paz converted from the penalty spot two minutes later, giving him his second goal and Pima’s fourth of the game.

Sophomore midfielder Lorenzo Rodriguez scored in the 58th minute, with Valadez-Paz providing the assist.

Valadez-Paz scored his third goal in the 67th minute, giving him a hat trick. Banegas earned an assist.

Freshman defender Andrew Bianchi completed Pima’s 7-1 victory with a goal in the 70th minute.

Sophomore goalkeeper James McWilliams finished the game with two saves.

Pima swept the regular season home and away series against the Pumas, outscoring Paradise Valley by a 16-1 margin.

Sep 28: PCC 7, South Mountain CC 1

The Aztecs won their 10th game of the season on the road against South Mountain Community College. For the second consecutive game, the Aztecs scored seven goals while conceding one.

Valadez-Paz scored in the first minute of the game, assisted by Rodriguez.

Cooper scored in the 20th and 27th minutes, and Rodriguez rounded out the first-half scoring in the 37th minute off an assist from freshman Tatsuma Yuki.

Banegas struck with goals in the 46th and 56th minute, giving him 12 goals for the year.

Freshman Luis Arias contributed a goal in the 53rd minute.

Sophomore goalkeeper James McWilliams finished with three saves.

WOMEN'S SOCCER: Coach pleased with influx of freshman talent

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Coach pleased with influx of freshman talent

By MARIA ANGULO

After a strong playoff run last season, the Pima Community College women’s soccer team opened the season ranked ninth nationally by NJCAA.

The Aztecs posted an overall record of 21-2-1 last year. Their season ended with a loss to Florida State in the second round of the national semifinals.

Kendra Veliz will continue her work as head coach.

“As far as last year, we met every goal we set for ourselves,” she said. “Our goal was to reach nationals and win our first game, because the previous year we lost our first game.”

Seven new players have joined the team this season.

“I am happy with the freshman class coming in,” Veliz said. “I think there’s a lot of talent there.” 

 

Aug. 23: PCC 0, Paradise Valley CC 1

The Aztecs had a rocky start in their first game at 10th-ranked Paradise Valley Community College, losing 1-0.

It was the first game between the teams since last year’s Region I, Division I playoff. Pima won the 2015 game 2-1 and advanced to the NJCAA national tournament.

 

Aug. 27: PCC 4, South Mountain CC 0

The Aztecs won 4-0 when they hosted their first home game at Kino North Grandstand against the Cougars of South Mountain Community College.

Freshman Alexis Hernandez scored in the 27th minute and sophomore Maria Delgadillo scored three minutes later.

Sophomore forward Shania Pablo sealed the game with two second-half goals.

Both of the team’s goalkeepers played, with sophomore Daniela Sanchez playing the first half and freshman Tara Kase playing the second.

 

Aug. 30: PCC 3, Phoenix CC 1

Pima hosted a tight game against the Bears of Phoenix College on Aug. 30, but prevailed 3-1.

The Aztecs score twice in the first half with goals by Pablo and sophomore Destiny Jones.

The Bears tried bouncing back, scoring in the 78th minute.

Pima scored its third goal after sophomore Maury Urcadez was fouled inside the penalty area. Jones scored on the resulting penalty shot.

“We set our goals pre-season,” head coach Kendra Veliz said. “One of our pre-season goals was to win our home games.”

The team may still see many changes in alignment, according to Veliz.

“We’ve been struggling with injuries but we are hoping to get everybody some playing time so everybody adapts to the system we are playing,” she said.

 

Sept. 3: PCC 2, Cochise College 0

The Aztecs defeated the Cochise College Apaches in Douglas, 2-0.

Both goals came in the first half as Delgadillo scored in the 30th and 33rd minutes.

The goalkeepers again split playing time, with Sanchez registering two saves in the first half and Kase making two saves in the second half.

 

Sept. 6: PCC 0, Scottsdale CC 1

The Aztecs suffered their second loss when they played their third away-game of the season against the Artichokes of Scottsdale Community College.

With the score 0-0 at the end of regulation, the game went to overtime. The Artichokes scored the winning goal four minutes into the second overtime period, to remain unbeaten for the season.

 

Sept. 8: PCC 5, GateWay CC 0

In a home game at Kino North Grandstand, the Aztecs won with authority against the Geckos of GateWay Community College.

The Aztecs opened scoring in the first half with goals by Pablo in the 19th minute and by Hernandez in the 24th minute.

The team scored three more goals in the second half, from freshman Daelyn Mayer in the 56th minute, Pablo in the 67th and freshman Jahnmonique Smith in the 73rd.

The Geckos had two shots on goal, compared to 19 goal-scoring opportunities by the Aztecs.

 

Sept. 10: PCC 1, Chandler-Gilbert CC 3

The Aztecs lost their third game of the season on the road against the Coyotes of Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

Pima scored first with a goal by sophomore Sonia Garcia in the 14th minute, but the Coyotes bounced back, scoring twice in the first half. They secured the win with another goal in the second half.

 

Freshman Tara Kase practices as goalkeeper with her team during warm-ups before a match against South Mountain Community College. (Katelyn Roberts/Aztec Press)

Freshman Tara Kase practices as goalkeeper with her team during warm-ups before a match against South Mountain Community College. (Katelyn Roberts/Aztec Press)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON DECK

Sept. 20: at Mesa CC, 7 p.m.

Sept. 22: at Arizona West College, 7 p.m.

Sept. 24: Paradise Valley CC, Kino Sports Complex, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27: at South Mountain CC, 3:30 p.m.

Veliz receives Coach of the Year

Veliz receives Coach of the Year

by DEANNA SHERMAN 

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team (20-2-2) ended their season short of the NJCAA Division I National Title, falling against the No. 1 ranked Eastern Florida State College 4-1 on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Eastern Florida took control of the game early, putting the Aztecs down 2-0 at the half.

The scoring continued for Eastern Florida as it began to look as though they would shut out Pima 4-0 in the second half. Fortunately freshman Daniela Garcia saved the Aztecs from a shut out scoring late in the game in the 80th minute.

In Pima’s first game of the national tournament the Aztecs defeated Spartanburg Methodist College 3-1 on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

After ending the first half 1-1, Pima came into the second half of the game looking better than ever taking control of the game and ultimately clinched the victory.

Sophomore Callen Shelton scored the first and only goal of the first half and came back to score the first goal of the second.

Sophomore Devyn Hunley would be the one to seal the deal scoring the final shot in the  69th minute.

The Aztecs outshot Spartanburg Methodist 10-4 on the game and freshman goalkeeper Daniela Sanchez finished the day with three saves.

Head coach Kendra Veliz was honored at the ACCAC being named Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.

Hunley, sophomore Brandi Park and Sanchez were named to the All-ACCAC conference team.

“This last season as a whole was amazing, and we had a lot of success. We met all our preseason goals and even achieved more,” said Region I MVP Hunley.

“Nationals was another great experience and we were able to win one game and pave the way for next year’s team to reach a higher success when they make it next year.”

Pg11-Womens Soccer Hunley, Devyn 3 10-13-15

Aztecs make soccer program history

Aztecs make soccer program history

The Pima Community College men’s soccer team (21-4-2) ended an incredible season in dramatic fashion losing in overtime to Louisburg College during the semifinals of the NJCAA Division I National Tournament.

Although the National Title was just out of reach for the Aztecs, third in the nation in the NJCAA is something to be proud of. It is also the best the Pima men’s soccer team has done sense winning the national title in 1999.

The first half of the game was scoreless thanks to three crucial saves from freshman goalkeeper Taylor Anderson.

Sophomore Alejandro Gonzalez would have the only point for the Aztecs as he scored late in the second half to put PCC into overtime 1-1. Louisburg would score another goal to seal the deal in overtime, 2-1 on Nov. 18.

In Pima’s last pool play game the men took out Lewis & Clark Community College 4-1 to advance to the NJCAA National Tournament semifinals.

This game marked the 21st win of the season for the Aztecs and the most single season wins in the program’s history.

In the first game of the National Tournament, the Aztecs fell to Hill College 3-2. Tied 1-1 at the half, Pima couldn’t manage to dig themselves out of the hole fast enough after being down 3-1 in the second.

Head coach David Cosgrove had been a part of Pima athletics for 17 years now and had been a part of many successful seasons.

“I’ve been here a long time,” said Cosgrove. “…by far this is the best semester for Pima Athletics that I’ve been apart of.”

With a numerous amount of Pima athletes getting honors and recognition this season, it’s hard to walk away with a negative outlook as the year comes to a close.

“We accomplished everything we set out to accomplish, aside from the national title, but we were close so I think we leave the post season with a sense of pride,” Cosgrove added.

Pg11-Mens Soccer Gonzalez, Alejandro 10-13-15

SOCCER: ACCAC recognizes PCC players and coach

SOCCER: ACCAC recognizes PCC players and coach

by AUDRIE FORD

Women’s Soccer:

Pima Community College women’s soccer team (17-1-2, 17-1-2 in ACCAC) secured the number 1 seed for the Region I, Division I tournament after defeating Glendale Community College 5-0, on Oct. 24. This game also marked the Aztec’s twelfth shutout of the season.

In the game against Glendale, freshman Destiny Jones put the Aztecs on the board. She was followed by a goal from fellow freshman Shania Pablo.

Sophomore Brandi Park made a goal off of a penalty kick and fellow sophomore Devyn Hunley set the game at 4-0 with a goal soon after.

The final goal of the game was Jones’ second goal. Freshman goalkeeper Daniela Sanchez finished the game with four saves.

Several Pima players were recognized at the ACCAC awards. Hunley, Park and Sanchez, were selected First Team All-ACCAC/Region I. Freshman defender Sierra Heredia was named to the All-ACCAC/Region I Honorable Mention team.

Coach Kendra Veliz was named ACCAC Coach of the Year for the second year in a row. Veliz boasts an impressive career, having led her teams to an undefeated record at home since they moved to the Kino Sports Complex.

The Aztecs had another shutout victory on Oct. 22, against GateWay Community College, 4-0.

Park pulled a hat trick, scoring three goals, two of them on penalty kicks and a third goal to secure the win.

The Aztecs defeated Cochise College 2-0 on Oct. 17, marking their 10th win in their last 12 games.

PCC earned their ninth shutout of the season against Cochise. Hunley put the Aztec’s on the board in the first half while sophomore Callen Shelton ensured the Aztec’s victory with a goal in the second.

While the Aztecs took 12 shots, Cochise  did not take a single attempt at a goal.

Because they are the top seeded team, the Aztecs receive a bye and will host the Region I, Division I semifinal game at Kino North stadium on Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. They’ll play the winner of the game between No. 5 Arizona Western College and No. 4 Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

Men’s Soccer:

On Oct. 26, Pima’s men’s soccer (17-2-2, 17-2-2 in ACCAC) won their quarterfinals match against Mesa Community College. The match was a 3-0 shutout game, with sophomore Jason Romero pulling yet another hat trick, scoring all three goals for the win.

Romero was also named ACCAC player of the year on Oct. 26. Throughout the season he scored 24 goals with eight assists and finished with 56 points during the regular season. Romero was second in the conference and fifth in the nation in goals scored.

This award marks the second consecutive year that the Pima men’s soccer team had a player named Player of the Year.

The team remains optimistic as they move into the playoffs. “We finished 9-0-1 at home and that’s never been done in the history of our program,” Pima coach David Cosgrove said. “The guys also locked up a home playoff game. These are great accomplishments but we talked about setting bigger goals for ourselves.”

The men finished the regular season undefeated at home, with five shutout games.

In their final regular season game, Pima secured their third straight shutout against Glendale Community College, 2-0, on Oct. 24.

Coming off a loss from Yavapai, the Aztecs recovered with a shutout win on Oct. 20 against Mesa Community College, 4-0.

Freshman Kyle VanAlstine put Pima on the board early on an assist from freshman Lorenzo Rodriguez, who then scored a goal of his own. Romero scored two goals of his own.

The Aztec’s defense held Mesa without a single shot on goal. This game marked Pima’s regular season sweep over Mesa after beating them 2-1 last month at Kino North Stadium.

In their game against GateWay Community College, Pima swept the board to earn a shutout victory. Romero had four goals in the game while sophomore Alejandro Gonzalez made a goal off of an assist from fellow sophomore Angel Heredia. Heredia made his goal with an assist from Rodriguez. Putting Pima up 5-0.

Sophomores Sergio Anaya and Rene Huerta both netted goals and freshman Gustavo Gonzalez-Ramirez had the final goal of the game. The Aztecs beat Gateway 9-0.

Though Pima had their winning streak snapped by Yavapai College 6-2 on Oct. 17, the team maintains an impressive standing and went into the first round of playoffs as the No.3 seed.

The Aztecs will continue their playoff run in the Region 1, Div. 1 Semifinals against Arizona Western College in Yuma,  Wednesday, Oct. 28.

Photo courtesy of Ben Carbajal First Team All-ACCAC/Region I selected Sophomore Brandi Park controls the Mid-field.

Photo courtesy of Ben Carbajal
First Team All-ACCAC/Region I selected Sophomore Brandi Park controls the Mid-field.

Pima gets ready for the playoffs

Pima gets ready for the playoffs

Men’s soccer:

The Pima Community College men’s soccer team (13-1-2, 13-1-2 in ACCAC) ended their final regular season home game at Kino Sports Complex with ease, shutting out Paradise Valley Community College 11-0.

Freshman Juan Pablo Segura pulled off a hat trick in the second half alone, while sophomores Jason Romero and Alejandro Gonzalez each had two goals of their own.

The Aztecs have a rough schedule ahead of them as both the men’s and women’s team hit the road for four straight games before the playoffs begin in the final week of October.

The Pima men’s soccer team dominated Scottsdale Community College in their fourth shutout win on the season, 7-0.

The Aztecs easily scored four goals in the first half with no response from host SCC. Only to continue to do so in the second half with three more goals and a scoreless Scottsdale team. Finishing the game with perfection.

The Aztecs are currently ranked No.3 in the division and will end the season with four straight away games before the playoffs begin. “The team feels good and confident but our league is very tough. Having 4 road games at the end makes it even tougher. Every game is a challenge and we can’t afford to look past anyone or play poorly,” says Coach David Cosgrove. “Overall we have had a good season and are excited about what we can do in the playoffs…”

Pima played an aggressive game on Thursday, Oct. 8 at home against Chandler-Gilbert.

Although the Aztecs took the lead early on and would eventually take home the win, the game was not easily won in a tenacious second half battle.

PCC was is perfect form for the first half, finishing up 3-0. But in the second Chandler-Gilbert was not going to go out without a fight, cutting the Aztecs lead 3-2.

But that would be the only goals the Aztecs would allow as they went on to score two more goals late in the second to solidify their win 5-2.

Freshman Lorenzo Rodriguez scored a goal in both the first and second half. Sophomores Ryan Bristow and Jason Romero each had a goal in the first and an impressive free kick in the second half from sophomore Alejandro Gonzalez. A good team win to say the least.

The PCC men’s soccer team took home a last minute victory against No. 10 ranked Phoenix College on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

Gonzalez scored the first goal of the game in the first half, but early in the second Phoenix College would tie it up 1-1.

The game looked as though it would end until Rodriguez scored the game winning goal in the 83rd minute. Freshman Taylor Anderson assisted the win with a notable six saves on the game. The Aztecs remain undefeated at home this season.

Women’s soccer:

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team (13-1-2, 13-1-2 in ACCAC) defeated Paradise Valley Community College 3-2 on Tuesday, Oct. 13, in their last regular season home game. Finishing their season undefeated at home for the second year in a row.

Freshman Shania Pablo scored the game winning shot in the 85th minute to seal the victory. The Aztecs outshot Paradise Valley 13-9 and while freshman goalkeeper Daniela Sanchez had a notable seven saves for the night.

The Aztecs finally got back to what they do best, win.

Saturday, Oct. 11 the Aztecs played away against hosts Scottsdale Community College, resulting in a 4-1 victory for No. 2 ranked Pima women’s team. Sophomores Prescilla Gonzalez and Devyn Hunley each scored two goals.

For the second game in a row PCC would finish the game in another tie, this time at home against Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

The two women’s teams battled it out all night, neither side managing to score a goal. Ending the game scoreless 0-0. Pima did manage to double the attempts with 16, compared to Chandler Gilberts 8 attempts.

The Aztecs women’s soccer seven-game winning streak finally came to an end against Phoenix College on Tuesday, Sept. 29, but fortunately resulting in a tie, not a loss.

It seemed as though Pima was going to go home with a loss but thanks to sophomore Maria Mata the Aztecs scored late in the second half with an assist from Gonzalez, tying the score 1-1.

After two 10-minute overtimes neither Pima nor Phoenix College managed to score, resulting in a tie for the No.2 ranked Pima Aztecs.

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Freshman Lorenzo Rodriguez defends the ball against Phoenix College. Photo Courtesy of PCC Athletics

Both teams undefeated at home

Both teams undefeated at home

Men’s soccer:

The Pima Community College men’s soccer team (9-1-2, 9-1-2) defeated South Mountain Community College, (5-1) in Scottsdale on Sept. 26. Officially sweeping the regular season series against them.

Sophomore Jason Romero had three of the five goals, totalling nine for the season.

Pima had their first loss of the season on Sept. 24 in Yuma against Arizona Western College.             The Aztecs lost 2-0 after trailing in the first half.

Freshman goalkeeper Taylor Anderson finished the game with four saves.

PCC continues to remain undefeated at home though, taking down Gateway Community College on Sept. 22, (7-1).

Sophomore Alejandro Gonzalez scored three goals, followed by goals from freshman Juan Pablo Segura and sophomore Angel Heredia, putting Pima at five goals in the first half.

Freshman Gustavo Ramirez-Gonzalez scored a goal off a penalty kick and fellow freshman Justin Stoermer scored a goal soon after.

Pima came out victorious against Mesa Community College (2-1) on Sept. 19, with sophomore Ryan Bristow and Segura scoring both Aztec goals in the first half.

The third ranked Pima Aztecs provided yet another exciting game on Sept. 15 against the fourth ranked Yavapai College.

Heredia put the Aztecs on the board ahead of the half at 1-0.

Yavapai came back in the second half to tie the game 1-1, leading to a double overtime where both teams failed to score.

Officially ending the game in a 1-1 tie.

Women’s soccer:

Pima Community College women’s soccer (10-1, 10-1) had their eighth shutout of the season on Sept. 24 against Arizona Western College.

The game ended 2-0 with sophomore Devyn Hunley scoring both of the Aztec’s goals.

Pima has been playing at a very competitive level this season, and head coach Kendra Veliz has high praises for the players.

“We have had strong leadership from our captains, Chloe Cox and Devyn Hunley,” Veliz said. “Now having been to Nationals, our sophomores have a stronger desire to return. I believe this has helped our team have a better first half of the season than last year.”

In Pima’s seventh shutout of the season, Gateway Community College didn’t stand a chance, losing 7-0 on Sept. 22.

The freshman represented well in this game, scoring six of the seven goals. Freshman Maury Urcadez scored three goals, Destiny Jones had two goals and Maria Delgadillo had one.

PCC twice again dominated on Sept. 15 and Sept. 19.

The game against Cochise College showed off the Aztec’s talent, with a final score of 7-1.

Freshman Gentry McPherson put four on the board for Pima with assists from Hunley, Urcadez and sophomore Callen Shelton, while freshman goalkeeper Daniela Sanchez finished the game with four saves.

In the game against Mesa Community College, the Aztecs earned their fifth shutout at their home stadium, 2-0. Out-shooting Mesa 19-2.

The Sept. 29 games will be reviewed next issue.

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Sophomore Maria Mata out to score against South Mountain CC. (Photo Courtesy of PCC Athletics)