Information from Pima’s media relations department contributed to his report:
The Pima Community College men’s soccer team is heading back to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament as the No. 1-seeded Aztecs captured their fifth region title in seven years with a 2-0 win over No. 2 Phoenix College on Saturday at Pima.
The Pima women, seeded No. 3 in their tournament, lost to No. 1 Phoenix College 2-0 in the championship of the NJCAA Region I, Division II tournament on Saturday at Phoenix.
The Aztec men are the NJCAA Region I, Division II and NJCAA West District championships. They avenged their 1-0 loss to the Bears from April 24. It was also the fifth shutout victory for the Aztecs (10-1) this season.
The NJCAA Division II National Tournament is June 5-10 at the Stryker Complex in Wichita, Kan.
Sophomore Seungeon Kim netted two goals Saturday against Phoenix College to increase his total at 12 this season. He scored in the 22nd minute and added an insurance goal in the 82nd minute when sophomore Francisco Manzo (Salpointe Catholic graduate) connected with him on a cross pass.
Sophomore Manuel Quiroz (Sunnyside) assisted in Kim’s first goal and was a force in the midfield as he was named the Region I, Division II Finals Most Valuable Player. He was the AllSportsTucson.com 2019 5A Player of the Year after leading Sunnyside to its first state title.
“I don’t think we played really well,” Pima men’s soccer coach David Cosgrove said. “I thought Phoenix played pretty well, but what we did do is play very hard and organized.
“We defended extremely well. We got some terrific efforts from our defenders and our midfield. We made it really difficult on them. We took our chances and it helps when you have Seungeon), Manny and Este (Francisco Manzo), who can be dangerous in a split second, and they were. A terrific effort from the entire team; not just tonight but the entire year. They are deserving of the championship.”
Sophomore Juan Suarez (Desert View) finished the game with two saves.
The Aztecs went 7-0 at home this season as they returned to play at the West Campus Aztec Soccer Field, part of the Chapman Auto Sports Complex. They played at the Kino Sports Complex’s North Stadium and North Grandstand from 2013-2019.
“We talked about that — we wanted to make sure that the first year back at Pima, we didn’t lose any games at home,” Cosgrove said. “It was really difficult to make that happen. All year these guys just answered the bell. When something was needed, they came out with a monster effort and I think they did tonight.”
In the Pima women’s game Saturday at Phoenix College, freshman goalkeeper Angelina Amparano (Salpointe Catholic) was busy at the net as she finished the game with 16 saves.
“I’m very proud of the effort our team put in tonight. Our players never gave up,” Pima women’s soccer coach Kendra Veliz said. “Phoenix College is a good team; they’re strong in every position. I wish them luck at nationals.”
The Aztecs finished 2-6-2. They upset No. 2-seeded Scottsdale Community College on Wednesday after winning a 4-3 penalty-kick shootout. This was Pima’s first appearance in the region finals since 2016. They had five players named to the All-ACCAC and All-Region I, Division II teams this season.