NJCAA Division II No. 1-ranked Pima Community College defeated Glendale Community College 3-0 on Saturday night to remain unbeaten.
While sophomore midfielder Seungeon Kim scored two goals and rightfully jumps off the stat sheet, the performances of sophomore defender Sam Lossou and sophomore forward Zak Mohamed (both Rincon/University grads who have signed NCAA Division I letters of intent with Alabama-Birmingham) were essential in the win.
Pima went up 2-0 on Glendale early in the match off of two goals from Kim in the 11th and 13th minute, and the score remained the same at halftime. Lossou added a goal in the 47th minute which put the Aztecs up 3-0 on the Gauchos, and Pima never looked back from there.
Pima head coach Dave Cosgrove described the team’s strategy coming into the game after a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Arizona Western College on Thursday.
“We had a really difficult game on Thursday down in Yuma, so we traveled a lot, guys have got heavy legs,” Cosgrove said. “We talked about getting a fast start, which I think we did, we got a couple of early goals, but they just managed in the game.
“I don’t think it was a terrific performance from us, but I think it was very professional from us.”
Cosgrove also praised the the abilities of Lossou and Mohamed, and talked about what they bring to the team.
“Obviously Sam (Lossou) at the heart of the defense has done a lot for us,” Cosgrove said. “We’ve talked about starting with defense and he usually starts with our goalkeeper and our central defenders, and Sam is obliviously one of the best one’s we’ve had here.
“Zak (Mohamed) obviously gives us some speed and some quality on the left side.”
Lossou and Mohamed have been playing together on the same soccer teams for a large part of their playing careers spanning their club soccer days at FC Tucson Youth Soccer Club under legendary soccer coach Wolfgang Weber, to high school at Rincon/University under head coach Roxanne Taylor, and now at junior college at Pima under Cosgrove (All three have been inducted to the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame). So it comes as no surprise that come fall they will be playing on the same team across the country at UAB.
Lossou attributed the Pima coaching staff for helping him refine his defensive skills.
“Defensively they’ve taught me to just basically play one versus one soccer, and being able to play out of the back and still get attacks and stuff,” said Lossou.
“I wasn’t really good at the beginning, but being here has definitely took me to another level.”
Mohamed credited his former and current coaches for developing his skills, especially FC Tucson Youth Soccer Academy coaches Weber, Mike Corbus, and Cosgove who has coached him in both youth soccer and at Pima.
“With Wolf (Weber), he has so much knowledge for the game, so it was just kind of soaking that in and learning as much as you can from him,” Mohamed said.
“But I’d also say Mike Corbus, he helped me out a lot when I was younger, but obviously Dave, I’ve had Dave as a coach for a while so they have all helped me to be the player I am today.”
After playing together on and off since they both arrived in the United States from Africa as children, Lossou and Mohamed are excited to be playing beside one another in the next chapter of their soccer careers.
“It’s definitely a dream come true, especially to go with my best friend, both with the same dream,” said Lossou. “It’s a perfect situation for both of us.”
“We’ve always had that dream to play with each other at the next level,” Mohamed said. “I’ve known him ever since we pretty much got to the United States, so it’s honestly a dream come true and hopefully there’s just good things to come.”
If the future is anything like the present and past, there will definitely be good things to come for Lossou and Mohamed at UAB.
Pima (5-0) plays next against Chandler-Gilbert Community College on Thursday at Aztec Soccer Field at Chapman Sports Complex at the West Campus.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writing intern Kevin Murphy was born and raised in Tucson, and has followed Arizona Wildcats athletics since childhood. He is currently attending Pima Community College where he writes for the Aztec Press. Next semester he will be attending the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU where he will work towards a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies.