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MEN'S SOCCER: Pima to host championship game Nov. 1

MEN’S SOCCER: Pima to host championship game Nov. 1

Compiled from a press release

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By CALEB FOSTER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arturo Vega displays his aggressiveness

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

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Aztecs earn 11th win

Aztecs earn 11th win

By ADRIANNA BARRIENTEZ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pg15-Women's soccer Oct. 7

On Deck

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

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

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

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

Oct. 27: NJCAA Region 1 Quarter Finals, TBA

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

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Star loves playing close to home

Star loves playing close to home

By ADRIANNA BARRIENTEZ

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

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

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

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

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

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

Her philosophy is to make school her top priority.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Head coach Kendra Veliz appreciates Shields’ attitude.

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

Veliz also likes Shields’ work ethic.

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

Soccer star Shannon Shields is an important part of the team

Soccer star Shannon Shields is an important part of the team

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Soccer a tradition for Carrillos

Soccer a tradition for Carrillos

By CALEB FOSTER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His teammates offer compliments as well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pg15-Santiago Carrillo profile

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

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Men's soccer; Streak earns coach 250th win

Men’s soccer; Streak earns coach 250th win

By CALEB FOSTER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cosgrove said the upcoming stretch of games would be brutal.

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

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

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

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photo by Larry Guarano

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

By ADRIANNA BARRIENTEZ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

photo by Larry Guarano

team mates celebrate a goal en route to a victory

On Deck

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

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

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

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

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

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

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MEN'S SOCCER: Forceful play gives Aztecs winning record

MEN’S SOCCER: Forceful play gives Aztecs winning record

By CALEB FOSTER

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

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

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

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

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

Freshman goalkeeper Sam Kavathas ended the game with three saves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kavathas earned one his three saves on the play.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pg15-Men's soccer-Eddy

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

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MEN'S SOCCER: Coach confident in talented young team

MEN’S SOCCER: Coach confident in talented young team

By BETO HOYOS

Three games into the season, the Pima Community College men’s soccer team remained undefeated. The No. 19-ranked Aztecs beat No. 9 Phoenix College 2-1 at home in a comeback thriller on Aug. 29. Phoenix College scored first in the 26th minute.

The Aztecs had a hard time breaking down the defense and remained down at halftime. In the second half, the Aztecs brought their aggressive side to the field. Sophomore midfielder Arturo Vega hit a free kick to tie the game in the 51st minute.

Freshman forward Rene Huerta was in the right place at the right time when he scored the game-winning goal in the 94th minute off a deflection. Freshman goalkeeper Sam Kavathas secured five saves for the Aztecs. Both teams had four shots on goal.

Last season, the team advanced to the semifinals of the Region I playoffs before losing to long-time nemesis Yavapai College.

This season, the Aztecs say they are more focused. “We expect to compete,” head coach David Cosgrove said. “Our goal is always the same, to compete for a region and a national title.” The coach spent the early season looking for weaknesses and aspects that need improvement, but said he is confident his team will get better. “Our movement of the ball wasn’t up to speed and our fitness wasn’t quite there,” he said. “It’s a long season and we’ll just keep improving.”

The Aztecs won an Aug. 28 home opener against South Mountain Community College by a score of 1-0. Sophomore midfielder Christian Garcia-Cabello scored the only goal of the game off a deflection in the 18th minute with an assist from freshman forward Alejandro Gonzalez. The Pima defense did not allow a single shot on goal.

The Aztecs had 10 shots on goal, including eight in the first half. The Aztecs opened the season Aug. 22 with a 3-0 victory over Arizona Western College in Yuma. “Yuma has a very good team, second or third in the conference, so getting a win against a team like that is always a confidence booster,” Cosgrove said.

Vega got the Aztecs on the board in the 33rd minute and the Aztecs held a 1-0 lead going into halftime. In the 61st minute, freshman midfielder Santiago Carrillo gave the Aztecs a 2-0 lead. Shortly after, freshman midfielder Ryan Bristow scored the Aztecs’ third goal.

Cosgrove said he expects strong play from sophomores Christian Garcia and Vega, who are both former Tucson All City high school players. Carrillo has also caught his attention. “Fans should come out and support us because we have a top 20 program here and we’re ready to bring soccer back in a big way,” Cosgrove said.

Freshman defender Gabe Zepp gives his opponent the shake and bake

Freshman defender Gabe Zepp gives his opponent the shake and bake

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By Beto Hoyos

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Shields earns player of the week

By BETO HOYOS

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team opened its season 2-1 in conference play.

The Aztecs shut out Phoenix College 1-0 on Aug. 29. Sophomore Shannon Shields scored in the 63rd minute off an assist from sophomore Rachel Ridlinghafer. “I think we did well on all parts of the field,” Ridlinghafer said.

Sophomore goalkeeper Angelica Gonzalez had six saves. On Aug. 28, the Aztecs dominated South Mountain College 10-1. The Aztecs scored five goals in each half. Shields scored three goals with one assist and sophomore Sarah Dunbar scored two goals. Ridlinghafer contributed one goal and three assists. Freshmen Erin Gall, Aracely Romero, Chloe Cox and Devyn Hunley also scored goals.

Shields was named ACCAC Player of the Week for the week of Aug. 25-31.

The Aztecs kicked off their season on Aug. 22 with a 3-0 loss against Arizona Western College. Gonzales recorded 18 saves. “It was disappointing that she didn’t get rewarded for her performance,” head coach Kendra Veliz said.

Veliz said returning sophomores Gonzales, Sarah Dunbar, Liz Valenzuela and Alexis Veney have shown leadership. “The sophomores came in really strong and fit, and set the standard for everybody else,” she said. The Aztecs are confident they will continue a winning tradition. “Historically we do pretty well,” Veliz said. “We always make the playoffs, so that’s an obvious expectation, to continue that legacy.”

Many of the players have been around soccer for most of their lives, and Veliz believes her team has a lot to prove this season. “Fans can expect to see some players that have played at a higher level and for different reasons came to Pima,” she said. “I think people will see a high energy set of experienced players.”

By Beto Hoyos

Callen Shelton looks to set up a teammate with an assist

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Soccer star kicking into university gear

Soccer star kicking into university gear

By JAIME HERNANDEZ

Sophomore Gisel Duarte has a lot to smile about these days. The former Pima Community College women’s soccer star will be continuing her playing career at the University of the Southwest in Hobbs, N.M.

Last season Duarte had six goals and three assists in 20 games for the Aztecs. Her shining moment came during a three-goal performance against South Mountain Community College on Aug. 31.

The San Luis, Ariz., native has come a long way since she first laced up her cleats in the fifth grade. She has played every position on the soccer field during her career, but prefers to play forward.

She started to realize she was pretty good during high school, but Pima wasn’t her first choice for continuing play after graduation.

“My first option was Mesa Community College because my sister went there and I knew their coach,” she said. “But when I came to visit Pima the environment here was something I wanted to be a part of.”

For the next two years she did everything in her power to become the best soccer player she could be.

“She is serious about soccer and has a great passion for the game,” head coach Kendra Veliz said. “She really wants to do well for herself and her teammates.”

Veliz thinks University of the Southwest will be a great fit for Duarte and said the coaches there are excited to have her join the team.

Soccer runs in the Duarte family. Her older sister played at Mesa Community College and her younger brother is an up-and-comer at San Luis High School.

Duarte feels it’s important for her to maintain good grades so that she can set a good example for her two younger siblings.

“I tell my brother all the time to keep his grades up and don’t be like me when I was in high school,” she said. “I realize now how important grades are and what the value of an education can do.”

Duarte plans to earn her degree in parks and recreation. She hopes one day to teach kids how to play sports, preferably soccer.

For right now, however, she plans on playing soccer for as long as she can.

Her goals for the upcoming season at University of the Southwest is to score goals and get good grades.

She knows if she can do those two things, everything else will fall into place.

Sophomore Gisel Duarte will play soccer next fall for the University of the Southwest in New Mexico. (Aztec Press photo by Jaime Hernandez)

Sophomore Gisel Duarte will play soccer next fall for the University of the Southwest in New Mexico. (Aztec Press photo by Jaime Hernandez)

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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.

Pg15-Vu-soccer

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.

 

Pg15-Medina-soccer honor

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.

Pg14-Men's soccer-Anthony Alvarez

 

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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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