Pima Community College men’s soccer received tremendous recognition for a great regular season on Monday as the ACCAC and the Region I teams were released.
Sophomore midfielder AJ Valenzuela (Desert View HS) was named ACCAC/Region I Player of the Year. Pima head coach David Cosgrove was selected ACCAC/Region I Coach of the Year for the sixth time in his career. Chris Cooper (University HS), Julian Gaona (Tucson HS) and Ricky Flores (Desert View HS) were also named to the All-ACCAC/Region I teams.
Valenzuela, a sophomore midfielder, helped lead the Aztecs as they outscored opponents 61-17. The Aztecs also posted nine shutouts (eight were victories). Valenzuela played and started in 17 games with two goals and one assist.
“I never would have thought it (being Player of the Year). It’s a great honor especially with there being lots of great talent in this league,” Valenzuela said. “We’ve had a great season and we’ve come together and pulled through. After last year, it gave me a big push and we (the sophomores) wanted to the same thing or get better and the freshmen have put in their work.”
Cosgrove led the Aztecs to a 15-2-3 overall and ACCAC conference record this season. The Aztecs had a run of 13-0-3 in 16 games during the season. The team took home its first ACCAC conference title in program history. Cosgrove is 317-106-30 in 21 seasons as head coach.
Cooper, a sophomore midfielder was named first team All-ACCAC/Region I. He played in 18 games; making 17 starts. He scored six goals and was fourth in the conference with 11 assists.
Gaona, a sophomore forward, was named second team All-ACCAC/Region I. He played and started in 19 games and finished with 14 goals and five assists during the regular season.
Flores, a sophomore defender, played and started in all 20 games for the Aztecs. He scored five goals, and on the defensive side, helped the Aztecs post nine shutouts. The defense surrendered 17 goals which was the lowest of any team in the conference.
Valenzuela feels confident in his team as their quest for a fourth straight Region I, Division I title begins on Wednesday. The Aztecs will host the winner of tonight’s quarterfinal match between No. 4 Arizona Western College/No. 5 Chandler-Gilbert Community College at Kino North Stadium at 6:00 p.m.
“I feel confident we’ll do really well. Arizona Western or Chandler-Gilbert, whoever it is, it’s our home field and we’ll do everything we can not to lose,” Valenzuela said.
Information for this story was provided by the Pima Community College Sports Information Office.