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Ex-PCC soccer star goes pro

Ex-PCC soccer star goes pro

By NICK MEYERS

Former Pima Community College soccer player Minh Vu has signed with his first professional team, joining the United Soccer League’s Rochester Rhinos in New York.

Vu played at PCC from 2009-2010. He was an All-American both years before transferring to Penn State University, where he was named Big Ten Tournament Offensive MVP in 2011.

He attributes much of his success to PCC head coach David Cosgrove, who met Vu during his youth Tucson Soccer Academy days and encouraged him to be the best player he could.

“He told me I was a player that could get to that level,” Vu said in a press release. “When I got to Pima, he was happy I was there. He gave me the freedom to play forward, which helped give me confidence and to score goals.”

Cosgrove also helped Vu get recruited by Penn State.

“We helped Minh understand that there are no short cuts or excuses,” Cosgrove said. “Minh has always had a ton of talent. He put in the work at Pima and Penn State and deserves all the credit for becoming a professional.”

The Rhinos’s season opener will be April 5 in Orlando City. The team will play Phoenix FC in Phoenix on June 14, and Vu said he looks forward to having friends and family at the game to cheer him on.

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Minh Vu beats a defender while playing soccer for Pima in 2009.

 

 

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Medina earns All-American honor

Medina earns All-American honor

By JAIME HERNANDEZ 

The Pima Community College men’s soccer team can add one more honor to its list of accomplishments.

Sophomore midfielder-forward Alexis Medina was selected Third Team All-American for the 2013 season. Medina was one of the Aztecs leading scorers. He earned 26 points and scored 10 goals.

Head coach David Cosgrove was extremely happy when he heard the news.

“He was one of our best offensive players and scored lots of important goals,” Cosgrove said. “He has been extremely durable and worked hard for all his honors.”

Medina helped lead the Aztecs to a 14-7-1 record and to the Region I, Division I semifinals.

To see the complete list and other All-American listings, visit the NJCAA website at http://njcaa.org.

 

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Sophmore Alexis Medina (Photo courtesy of PCC)

 

 

 

 

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MEN'S SOCCER: Season ends with playoff loss to Yavapai

MEN’S SOCCER: Season ends with playoff loss to Yavapai

By JAIME HERNANDEZ

The Pima Community College men’s soccer team lost to Yavapai 3-2 in the semifinals of the Region I playoffs on Oct. 30.

It was the same story as the two previous times that Pima played Yavapai this year. Yavapai went up early and Pima fought back, but fell short.

Pima controlled the game throughout but couldn’t find the net.

Early in the game, the Aztecs had a scoring chance when Yavapai’s goalie was out of position, but freshman Arturo Vega had his shot on goal blocked by a Yavapai defender.

Shortly after, Yavapai scored its first goal.

Vega answered with a goal on a free kick in the 44th minute.

At the start of the second half, the Aztecs continued to apply pressure but Yavapai scored on two consecutive clearouts to take a 3-1 lead.

Sophomore Alexis Medina scored Pima’s second and final goal in the 66th minute.

The Aztecs continued to mount attacks, but Yavapi was able to fend Pima off for the 3-2 win.

Though disappointed in the loss, head coach Dave Cosgrove was proud of the way his team fought throughout the course of the game.

“We just gave up a couple of bad goals, where we were not organized,” Cosgrove said. “I’m proud of the fight we showed, but at the end of the day they hit one more shot than we did, and that’s that.”

Sophomore Kamran Alaydinov said, “I think we came out thinking we could score more goals, so we were a little laid back to start the second half.”

The Aztecs finished the season 14-7-1.

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WOMEN'S SOCCER: Pima falls to Chandler-Gilbert

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Pima falls to Chandler-Gilbert

By JAIME HERNANDEZ

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team lost to Chandler-Gilbert Community College 1-0 in the Region I Semifinal playoffs on Oct. 31.

The Aztecs had chances throughout the game but were unable to capitalize on any scoring opportunities.

The game was scoreless at the half. Chandler-Gilbert’s lone goal came in the 59th minute of the game.

The Aztecs finished the season 11-10-1 on the year.

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MEN'S SOCCER: Aztecs fall to Yavapai in playoffs

MEN’S SOCCER: Aztecs fall to Yavapai in playoffs

By JAIME HERNANDEZ

The Pima Community College men’s soccer team lost to Yavapai 3-2 in the semifinals of the Region I playoffs on Oct. 30.

It was the same story as the two previous times that Pima played Yavapai this year. Yavapai went up early and Pima fought back, but fell short.

Pima controlled the game throughout but couldn’t find the net. Early in the game, the Aztecs had a scoring chance when Yavapai’s goalie was out of position, but freshman Arturo Vega had his shot on goal blocked by a Yavapai defender.

Shortly after, Yavapai scored its first goal.

Vega answered when he found the back of the net on a free kick in the 44th minute to tie the game.

At the start of the second half, the Aztecs continued to apply pressure but Yavapai scored on two consecutive clearouts to take a 3-1 lead.

Sophomore Alexis Medina scored Pima’s second and final goal in the 66th minute.

The Aztecs continued to mount attacks, but Yavapi was able to fend Pima off for the 3-2 win.

Though disappointed in the loss, head coach Dave Cosgrove was proud of the way his team fought throughout the course of the game.

We just gave up a couple of bad goals, where we were not organized,” Cosgrove said. “I’m proud of the fight we showed, but at the end of the day they hit one more shot than we did, and that’s that.”

Sophomore Kamran Alaydinov said, “I think we came out thinking we could score more goals, so we were a little laid back to start the second half.” 

The Aztecs finished the season 14-7-1.

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MEN'S SOCCER: Aztecs advance in playoffs with win over Mesa

MEN’S SOCCER: Aztecs advance in playoffs with win over Mesa

BY JAIME HERNANDEZ

The Pima Community College men’s soccer team defeated Mesa Community College 2-0 in the first round of the playoffs on Oct. 28.

Pima freshman Arturo Vega scored the game’s first goal in the 37th minute. Freshman Luis Valenzuela tacked on another one in the 65th minute.

“This is something we’ve work for the entire season,” Vega said. “We’ve been working so hard and have found our rhythm.”

Pima controlled the ball for the entire game.

“I think we played very well tonight,” head coach Dave Cosgrove said. “We really settled down once we scored that second goal. I have a tremendous amount of respect for their coach, so I never felt comfortable.”

The Aztecs were scheduled to play the next round on Oct. 30 at Yavapai College in Prescott. The game took place after Aztec Press went to the printer. Check AztecPressOnline.com for results.

“If we do the little things right, I know we can beat them,” sophomore Jacob Green said. 

Pima closed out the regular season on Oct. 26 with a 4-1 win over Scottsdale Community College.

Aztec sophomore Alexis Medina scored the first goal of the game in the 5th minute. Sophomore Anthony Alvarez scored in the 7th minute, followed by Vega in the 20th minute. The Aztec’s final goal came from sophomore J.C. Henson in the 84th minute.

The Aztecs finished the season 13-6-1 and were ranked third in their conference.

“I like the way we ended the season, but now we’re in the playoffs so it’s just a one-game season,” Cosgrove said. “Everything we’ve done to this point is nice but if we don’t continue to win it will be for nothing.”

On Oct. 24, Pima defeated Mesa Community College 4-3 in overtime.

After going down 3-0 early in the first half, the Aztecs roared back with four unanswered goals.

Vega hit the back of the net in the 41st minute. After Medina scored twice on penalty kicks, Vega scored the game-winning goal in the 93rd minute off a cross from Alvarez.

On Oct. 19, Pima defeated Arizona Western College 2-1. Sophomore Aldo de Cima scored in the first half. AWC tied the game early in the second half, but Medina scored the go-ahead goal in the 75th minute.

The Aztecs tied Phoenix College 2-2 on Oct. 17. Alvarez and freshman Garrett Andratta scored for Pima.

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J.C. Henson fights off a defender in Pima’s first playoff game against Mesa on Oct. 28. (Aztec Press photo by Larry Gaurano)

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WOMEN'S SOCCER: Aztecs advance to second round of playoffs

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Aztecs advance to second round of playoffs

By DIEGO LOZANO III

 

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team won the first round of playoffs Oct. 29 with an upset victory over No. 3 Scottsdale Community College.

 

The Aztecs will play Oct. 31 at No. 2 Chandler-Gilbert Community College in the Region I, Division I semifinals.

 

In the Oct. 29 game, the No. 6 seeded Aztecs and the Scottsdale Artichokes were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation. Pima won 3-2 in a shootout, and boosted their season record to 11-9-1.

 

Freshman forwards Rachel Ridlinghafer and Larissa Adams and sophomore defender Miranda Smith scored for Pima in the shootout. Freshman goalkeeper Shelby Penrod made saves on Scottsdale’s final two shootout attempts, and finished with nine saves for the game.

 

“I was really confident going into the PKs,” Penrod said in a press release. “We’ve beat them before. We knew their style of play and their strongest players.”

 

Scottsdale scored first in the 31st minute. The Aztecs tied the game five minutes later when Ridlinghafer crossed the ball and Adams headed it into the goal.

 

Three Aztec were honored in selections announced Oct. 28.

 

Sophomore defender Katie Harayda was named First Team All-Region and First-Team All-ACCAC.

 

Fellow defender JessAnn Robison, a freshman, was selected Second Team All-Region I and Second Team All-ACCAC. Sophomore midfielder Kalle Smith was named All-ACCAC Honorable Mention.

 

The Aztecs punched their ticket into the playoffs on Oct. 26 with a 2-1 win against Scottsdale. The victory broke a two-game losing streak.

 

Adams reeled in the win with a game-clinching score in the 84th minute of play. The goal broke a 1-1 tie.

 

Harayda earned an assist on the play, and was named the ACCAC Women’s Soccer Player of the Week for Oct. 22-28.

 

On Oct. 24, PCC was shut out 1-0 in overtime by Mesa Community College in Mesa.

 

Pima was again held scoreless in a 2-0 loss on Oct. 19 against Arizona Western College in Yuma.

 

The Aztecs finished their home finale with a 2-0 win against Phoenix College on Oct. 17. Sophomore forward Ashley Cardenas scored both goals.

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Sophomore midfielder Kamree Cady prepares to launch a corner kick to her waiting teammates.

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WOMEN’S SOCCER: Aztecs battling for playoff contention

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Aztecs battling for playoff contention

By DIEGO LOZANO III

With the regular season gradually coming to an end, the Pima Community College women’s soccer team is making a strong efforts to extend their time on the field.

The women’s squad has struggled to maintain consistency since the first kickoff of the season, but their record of 8-7-1 may be enough to squeeze Pima into post-season play.

Their chances took a bit of a hit on Oct. 12 after a stinging 7-1 defeat to the No. 1 team in the conference, Paradise Valley Community College.

PCC matched up well against Paradise Valley for the first 45 minutes of action, as the score was 1-1 at halftime.

The start was reminiscent of the Aztecs’ previous matchup with the Pumas at the Kino North Grandstand on Sept. 10, where the score was identical heading into the half.

Freshman Sarah Dunbar had Pima’s only score of the contest, coming in the eighth minute off an assist from sophomore Ashley Cardenas. It came two minutes after an early Puma goal.

For the final 45 minutes, Paradise Valley ran Pima off the field, scoring six goals to clinch the victory.

PCC is currently in sixth place in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference, and holds the final slot for playoff contention.

On Oct. 10, the Aztecs triumphed 5-0 over GateWay Community College.

After another slow beginning, Pima caught fire. Four goals in the last half ensured victory.

Freshman Rachel Ridlinghafer led the charge with a double dose of scores in the 84th and 88th minutes of play.

Fellow freshman Larissa Adams first lifted Pima onto the scoreboard with a goal in the 28th minute, off an assist from sophomore Vanessa Moraida.

Sophomore Kamree Cady got the second-half score fest under way when she struck net in the 48th minute. Cardenas scored in the 61st minute.

On Oct. 5, the Aztecs picked up where they left off with a 10-0 route against South Mountain Community College at the Kino North Grandstand. On Aug. 31, the Aztecs handily defeated the Cougars 5-0 in Phoenix.

Seven different players scored, and PCC’s defense restricted the Cougars to zero shots on goal. The Aztecs have shut out six of their opponents this season.

Cardenas achieved a hat-trick, scoring in the 7th, 59th and 62nd minutes.

Ridlinghafer scored twice, once in each half.

Sophomore Gisel Duarte set up three teammates for points, earning assists for goals by Cady, Moraida and Dunbar.

On Oct. 3, Pima failed to redeem an earlier loss to Cochise College on the road at Sierra Vista.

After 84 minutes of hard-fought play, Cochise scored in the 85th minute to win 1-0. Pima freshman goalie Angelica Gonzalez had two saves.

The Aztecs will play their final home contest of the year on Oct. 17 against Phoenix College at the Kino North Grandstand.

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Women’s soccer defender Alexis Veney protects the ball. (Aztec Press photo by Diego Lozano III)

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Hall of Fame awaits men’s soccer coach

Hall of Fame awaits men’s soccer coach

By JAIME HERNANDEZ

Soccer has been a part of Dave Cosgrove’s life for 43 years. The Tucson native, who now serves as the Pima Community College men’s soccer coach, was introduced to the game at a young age.

“I think they had just discovered fire when I learned how to play the game,” Cosgrove jokes.

In reality, he discovered soccer in 1974 when his father, a history professor at the University of Arizona, took a sabbatical to England.

When Cosgrove returned to Tucson six months later, only about 40 people he knew played the sport. As time progressed, it became more popular.

Cosgrove wasn’t the most skilled soccer player growing up. He learned to maximize his talents through hard work on the practice field.

He gives the majority of the credit to his father, Richard Cosgrove, who was always there to support his son’s dreams of playing soccer.

Cosgrove went on to play soccer at Catalina High School. He enrolled at PCC in 1987 and also played for the Aztecs.

Many people influenced Cosgrove throughout his life.

“The most influential person was Ibrahim Abousaoud,” Cosgrove says. “The happiest memories I have are when I was playing for him at Pima and in youth club.”

Cosgrove’s Pima team lost in the regional finals in 1987.

In 1988, he was named captain and became an academic All-American. The Aztecs made it to the national championship game, where they lost to Mercer Community College 1-0.

Once his playing days were behind him, Cosgrove decided to give coaching a try.

He became the coach for Amphitheater High School boys’ soccer in 1992, and remains the school’s leader in wins. His teams made the regional playoffs each year.

Cosgrove became coach of the Aztecs in 1997. Heading into this season, he had compiled an overall record of 227-85-22.

The Aztecs made their second trip to the NJCAA National Championship game in 1999, but lost 3-2 to State Fair College. State Fair had to vacate the championship after the NJCAA determined the team used ineligible players.

Since he began coaching at PCC, Cosgrove has been named the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year five times. He has twice been named the West Region Coach of the Year.

Pima has finished in the top 15 national rankings 10 times, and his teams have been a Region I finalist nine times. He has coached 14 All-Americans and more than 60 All-Conference players.

“He’s a fantastic leader in terms of who these kids are and who they want to be one day,” assistant coach Henry Brauner says. “He gets the most out of every player that comes through this program and that’s very hard to do.”

Sophomore midfielder Cesar Quintero calls Cosgrove an amazing coach, saying, “He does everything possible to make me a better player and person.”

In 2000, Cosgrove helped found the Tucson Soccer Academy. The academy’s purpose is to improve soccer across the Tucson area by matching the best coaches with the best players. He became the academy’s coaching director in 2004, and still holds that position today.

“He’s been my coach since I was 11,” PCC freshman midfielder Arturo Vega says. “He’s always taught me to be a team player, and that you must always work hard for things you want.”

Cosgrove’s success story will rise to new levels when he is inducted into two sports halls of fame: the

Pima County Sports Hall of Fame on Oct. 27 and the National Junior College Athletic Association Men’s Soccer Hall of Fame on Nov. 11. Cosgrove credits Yavapai College men’s soccer coach Mike Pantilione for his NJCAA induction.

“He’s the most successful junior college coach in the country, and I’ve tried to emulate my program after his,” he says.

The invitation to the Pima County Hall of Fame carries a special place in Cosgrove’s heart.

“I grew up in Tucson, I played in Tucson and I coached in Tucson,” he says. “This is my community. To be recognized by that community for all the effort you’ve put into it is a great honor.”

 

Cosgrove Profile pic

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Aztecs still in hunt for playoff spot

Aztecs still in hunt for playoff spot

By JAIME HERNANDEZ

The Pima Community College men’s soccer team has won three games in a row, but head coach Dave Cosgrove said upcoming games will provide a better test.

“I think we’ve done a good job,” Cosgrove said. “The three teams we just played were in the bottom of the league. Our next two games will be the real test.”

The Aztecs defeated Paradise Valley Community College 4-2 on Oct. 12, improving their record to 10-6.

Each Pima goal came in the first half. Sophomore Anthony Alvarez, freshman Arturo Vega, sophomore Alexis Medina and sophomore Gabriel Gauna all scored. Vega and Medina each had an assist in the game as well.

Medina has scored a goal in four of the last five games.

“They have played me more up top,” Medina said. “That gives me more freedom with Anthony to make plays.”

Cosgrove said Medina has been playing much more consistently. “We asked him where he felt most comfortable on the field and played him there.”

On Oct. 10, Pima defeated Gateway Community College 7-1. Seven different Aztecs score a goal.

Vega found the net in the fifth minute. Medina, freshman Christian Garcia-Cabello, sophomore J.C. Henson and Alvarez rounded out the first-half scoring as Pima took a 5-0 advantage into the break.

Sophomore Aldo de Cima and freshman Jose Alberto Rivera scored goals in the second half.

On Oct. 5, Pima defeated South Mountain 3-1.

Henson got the Aztecs on the board with the game’s first goal in the 17th minute, and Vega scored five minutes later.

“We’ve really picked up our effort,” Henson said. “We’re working our asses off and it’s starting to show on the field.”

South Mountain got on the board at the start of the second half, but Medina scored in the 88th minute to put the game out of reach.

Cosgrove said he wasn’t happy with his team’s performance that day. “We made a lot of mistakes, but we got away with a win and I’m happy about that.”

On Oct. 2, Pima fell to No. 4 Yavapai College 2-1.

Yavapai took a quick 1-0 lead early in the first half.

The Aztec had opportunities, but couldn’t capitalize until freshman Garrett Andreatta scored a game-tying goal in the 19th minute with an assist from Alvarez.

Pima had opportunities to take the lead in the second half, including a penalty kick that went wide-right in the 93rd minute.

Yavapai won on a header in the 98th minute.

“They played a little better than us today,” Cosgrove said. “When you miss a penalty kick with seven minutes left, you don’t win many game. When you give up stupid fouls to a physically superior team, you’re asking for trouble.”Julian Gomez is setting up his teammates for the goal.

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Gut check upcoming for Aztecs

Gut check upcoming for Aztecs

By DIEGO LOZANO III

As the Pima Community College women’s soccer team enters the mid-point of the season, a schedule with most games away from home does not scream good news.

The women slunk out to a shaky start in their first four games, splitting them at 2-2. If that was any signal of what was to come, then it was a spot-on indicator thus far.

Head coach Kendra Veliz expected her crew to face a learning curve but slightly above .500 in the wins column may not have been in her forecast.

Owning a record of 6-5-1, with the last seven of their eight remaining games within conference play, the Aztec women will need to channel a sense of urgency to sustain any thought of post-season contention.

Making a push

After dropping games to both the Mesa and Scottsdale Community College squads, the Aztecs responded by winning consecutive games against Glendale and Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

A second-half barrage of shots capped a 3-1 victory over Chandler-Gilbert on Sept. 28 in Chandler.

Sophomores Gisel Duarte and Kalle Smith rallied the troops after a 1-1 score at the half. Each struck net to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Freshman forward Larissa Adams lifted Pima on the scoreboard first.

Duarte has scored in each of the Pima’s last two wins and hopes her teammates can maintain their momentum.

“Just staying as a team and working like we did,” she said. “We were, like, really bad, playing horrible.”

Their 5-0 blowout over Glendale on Sept. 26 proved to have ignited their competitive spirits. The outspill of offense avenged their first loss of the season against the Gauchos.

PCC controlled possession from the opening whistle. Sophomore Ashley Cardenas knocked down a shot 12 minutes into the contest, and Pima was up 2-0 by halftime.

Freshman Rachel Ridlinghafer provided a pair of goals by the final whistle, scoring in the 29th and 78th minutes of play.

Kamree Cady, a sophomore forward, and Duarte rounded out the second-half scores in the 52th and 88th minute.

Duarte felt execution was the tale of their triumph.

“We played good last time but we actually finished everything we got,” she said. “I think it’s a good start to the second half of the season.”

Struggling to score

Home field advantage is supposed to benefit the home squad but the disadvantage has gone to the Aztecs as of late. They were shut out in their last two outings at the Kino North Grandstand.

Scottsdale Community College ran the field against PCC on Sept. 21 in a 3-0 heartbreaker. The Artichokes rejected all Pima attempts at the goal and opened their lead in the closing half with two morale-depleting scores.

Pima had multiple cracks at the scoreboard against Mesa Community College on Sept. 19 but instead gave up shots at the net in a 2-0 setback.

The women were able to muster four attempts at the opposing goal but failed to capitalize on all tries.

What’s next

With six of their final eight games kickingoff at venues not named Kino North Grandstand, the Aztecs will need to continue their winning formula on the road.

The Aztecs were scheduled to make their way to Sierra Vista for a shot at redemption against Cochise College on Oct. 3, after Aztec Press was sent to the printer.

 

On Deck

Oct. 3: @ Cochise College, Sierra Vista, 2 p.m.

Oct. 5: South Mountain CC, Kino North, 4:30 p.m.

Oct. 10: @ GateWay CC, Phoenix, 4:30 p.m.

Oct. 12: @ Paradise Valley CC, Phoenix, noon

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Freshman Sarah Dunbar attacks a Glendale defender with on-ball defense Sept. 26 at Kino North. “Diego Lozano III/Aztec Press”

 

 

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Aztecs starting to hit their stride

Aztecs starting to hit their stride

By JAIME HERNANDEZ

 The Pima Community College men’s soccer team crushed  Chandler-Gilbert Community College 4-1 on Sept. 28.

“I thought we played with great energy,” head coach David Cosgrove said. “We were very focused and played with a lot of intensity. We made big plays when we needed to make big plays.”

After the first half ended in a 1-1 tie, the Aztecs scored three goals in the second half.

Freshman Christian Garcia-Cabello scored two goals for the Aztecs and freshman Arturo Vega had two assists.

Sophomores Alexis Medina and Gabe Gauna each scored a goal for Pima.

With the win, the Aztecs improved their record to 7-5. They were in fifth place in the conference.

On Sept. 26, Pima fell to Glendale Community College 3-2 in overtime.

Down 1-0, Vega scored in the 13th minute to tie the game. Cabello earned the assist.

Pima took a 2-1 lead in the second half when sophomore J.C. Henson hit the left post for a goal in the 67th minute.

Glendale tied it in the 76th minute and won the game with a goal in the 97th. The Aztecs split the season series with Glendale.

On Sept. 21, Pima took down Scottsdale Community College 4-1.

The Aztecs controlled the game from start to finish with great ball movement and relentless defensive pressure. The win snapped the Aztecs’ three-game losing streak, improving their conference record to 6-4.

Vega got the Aztecs on the board first in the third minute with the assist from sophomore Roberto Zatarian.

Sophomore Anthony Alvarez scored one at the 16th  minute, and Cabello made it 3-0 at minute 27.

Scottsdale got on the board with the first goal of the second half, but were not able to muster any more offense after that.

Henson scored with an assist from Cabello in the 71st  minute.

On Sept. 19, Pima fell to Mesa Community College 3-2.

The loss was Pima’s third in a row, but the Aztecs showed tons of fight in the back and forth battle.

The Aztecs got on the board early when sophomore Zach Schmidt used a header to score the goal off a throw-in by freshman Garrett Andreatta in the fourth minute.

Mesa responded quickly with two goals in the fifth and eighth minutes to take a 2-1 lead at halftime. Mesa scored again in the 66th minute for a 3-1 lead.

The Aztecs got back on the board when sophomore Fernando Sanz scored on a penalty kick a few minutes later.

Oct. 2 Pima lose to Yavapai 2-1. Full recap will be in our next issue.

On Deck

Oct. 5: South Mountain CC, Kino North, 7 p.m.

Oct. 10: @ GateWay CC, Phoenix, 7 p.m.

Oct. 12: @ Paradise Valley CC, Phoenix, 2:30 p.m.

Pg14-Men's soccer-ZacharyBecker

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Aztecs take winning strides

Aztecs take winning strides

By DIEGO LOZANO III

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team began the 2013 season with a few question marks etched onto this fresh bundle of talent.

Coach Kendra Veliz anticipated a period of adjustment for her players as they lunged to a bitter start, going 2-2 in the team’s first four games of the season.

Their conference record is now 3-3-1, and the cohesion among the women is steadily improving.

The Aztecs hosted Arizona Western College on Sept.14 in a defensive-dictated battle.

PCC tallied 10 shots on goal by the game’s end, but it took just one to swipe a 1-0 victory from the Matadors.

Freshman Sarah Dunbar capitalized on a corner assist from sophomore Kamree Cady in the 77th minute for the game’s only goal.

The Aztecs traveled north on Sept. 12 to tackle Phoenix College at the Rose Mofford Sports Complex in the state’s capital.

Freshman Rachel Ridlinghafer scored goals in the 29th and 37th minutes to give Pima a 2-1 lead.

A second-half score by Phoenix College forced overtime, but the game ended in a 2-2 tie.

The Aztec women left everything on the field on Sept. 10 when Paradise Valley Community College, then ranked No. 1 in the country, stepped on the grass at Kino North Grandstand.

Down by just one goal at intermission, the Aztecs lost 3-0 after the Pumas struck gold in the 76th and 83rd minutes of play.

Pima dominated GateWay Community College 5-0 on Sept. 7.

From the opening whistle, the Aztecs channeled high intensity on both ends of the field. They were in the drivers’ seat throughout the 90-minute game.

Cady ignited the scoring fest in the 12th minute when she vaulted Pima onto the scoreboard.

Freshman Larissa Adams scored in the 23rd minute. Sophomore Ashley Cardenas took the first-half score to 3-0 when she hacked through a cluttered GateWay defense to strike a goal.

Adams recorded both of PCC’s second-half points with goals in the 58th and 76th minutes of play. Her hat-trick was the team’s second of the season.

In both halves, Cardenas  set up Adams to earn two assists.

Cardenas said the returning players now trust the freshmen, and called it a key to sustaining success.

“We have improved, taking it game by game, practice by practice and we’re building up skill together and finding a lot of connections,” she said.

“I’m feeling really good about our team, you know, we came out with a lot of confidence and intensity,” she said. “We really needed this win.”

Pima hosts Mesa Community College Sept. 19 at Kino North Grandstand. Kickoff is at 4:30 p.m. The match is the second of a four-game home stay.

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Sophomore Ashley Cardenas outpaces a GateWay defender Sept. 7.

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Inexperience starting to show

Inexperience starting to show

By JAIME HERNANDEZ

After a hot start to the season, the men’s soccer team is coming back down to earth.

The Aztecs opened the season 5-1, but have dropped their last two games. They failed to score a goal in either game.

Pima fell to Arizona Western College 3-0 on Sept. 14.

AWC got on the board with a goal in the 44th minute, then scored two more goals in the second half to pull away. The Matadors controlled the ball for the entire game, giving the Aztecs little opportunity to score.

The Aztecs finished the game with six shots on goal. Freshman goalkeeper Emmanuel Jimenez had six saves in 69 minutes. Sophomore keeper Hector Zambrano finished the game and had three saves.

“We  have a lot to work on obviously,” head coach Dave Cosgrove said. “I don’t think we’re a good enough soccer team as a whole yet. We have a lot of great kids with good attitudes, and we need to get more organized as a group.”

Once AWC scored its first goal, the team went into a defensive formation with eight players back and just two up top.

“Whoever scores first in game like this really has a leg up,” Cosgrove said. “We hit one off the post, then they scored right after that, and that’s what put us behind the eight ball.”

On Sept. 12, the Aztecs fell 2-0 to the No. 8 team in the country, Phoenix College. At the time, the Aztecs were ranked 13th nationally.

Pima kept the game scoreless going into the second half, but Phoenix College took advantage of two mental breakdowns to score the only two goals of the game

Each team finished with five shots on goal. Jimenez had two saves for Pima.

On Sept 10, the Aztecs defeated Paradise Valley Community College 6-1.

Pima set an early tone, scoring four goals in the first half. Sophomore J.C. Henson had a hat trick for the Aztecs, scoring his first goal in the fourth minute of the game. One minute later, the Aztecs got a goal from sophomore Aldo de Cima.

Following Paradise Valley’s only goal, the Aztecs again went on the attack. Sophomore midfielder Alexis Medina scored twice, in the 21st minute and with a penalty kick in the 27th minute. He also had an assist in Henson’s first goal.

Henson scored the final two goals in the 60th and 70th minutes.

On Sept. 7, the Aztecs dominated GateWay Community College 5 -0.

The Aztecs controlled the ball for the entire game, and scored four goals in the first half.

They got on the board in the 7th minute when sophomore Roberto Zatarain scored with an assist from Medina.

Medina assisted in the second goal with a cross-pass to freshman Arturo Vega in the 24th minute. Vega came right back in the 30th with his second goal of the game.

“We needed to keep the ball moving, and worked as a team,” Vega said. “That’s how we were able to score so many goals tonight.”

Sophomore Cesar Quintero scored the fourth goal of the half in the 32nd minute with an assist from freshman Garrett Andreatta. Sophomore defender Gabriel Gauna scored Pima’s second-half goal in the 72nd minute.

“Obviously we started well, and we played well the entire first half,” Cosgrove said. “We took advantages of the chances we had in the first half, and that’s how we were able to establish the lead.”

The Aztecs will be back at Kino North Grandstand on Sept. 19, hoping to improve on their 5-3 record when they host Mesa Community College at 7 p.m.

Zachary Schmidt dribbles the ball up the field

Sophomore midfielder Karman Alaydinov controls the ball during Sept. 7 home game against GateWay.

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WOMEN’S  SOCCER: Veliz happy with season, excited for next fall

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Veliz happy with season, excited for next fall

By STEVE CHOICE

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team saw its season end on Oct. 24, losing 4-2 to Scottsdale Community College in the NJCAA Region 1 semifinals.

Despite the loss, head coach Kendra Veliz was pleased with her squad, which finished at 12-7-1 on the year.

“I’m proud of what this team accomplished this year,” Veliz said. “We were a young team, but we responded well to the challenges that were put before us. We definitely feel like we met our expectations.”

It was almost a tale of three seasons for the Aztecs, who reeled off five straight victories to start the year before dropping four of their next five.

“We had a stretch in the middle of the year there where we struggled,” Veliz said. “We had a lot of games scheduled in a little amount of time, which didn’t help.

“But the squad really responded well after that down period, and came together late in the year with some great play.”

PCC went 6-2-1 down the homestretch, including a home playoff victory against Chandler-Gilbert Community College on Oct. 22.

“We’re all competitive, and they learned a lot this year,” Veliz said of her squad. “There’s a lot more to learn, but I really liked how we jelled as a unit.

“There was a lot of camaraderie, which is a big part of being successful as a team.”

Though Pima only loses three sophomores off this year’s freshman-laden squad, they were all key contributors. Moving on will be goalkeeper Erika Heredia, forward Ivonne Herrera and midfielder Robyn Tolin.

Veliz is optimistic about next year’s team.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “We have so many returning players who played a major role in what we accomplished this year.

“I’m really happy with this year, and I’m looking forward to next year, too.”

 

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