Information for this report provided by Pima College media relations:
The No. 3 seeded Aztecs upset No. 2 seed Scottsdale Community College 3-3 (Pima wins 4-3 in penalty kicks) on Wednesday in the NJCAA Region I, Division II semifinals.
The Aztecs (2-5-2) will play at No. 1 seeded Phoenix College (9-0) on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in the NJCAA Region I, Division II Finals.
Sophomore Litycia Espinoza (Sahuarita) won the match for the Aztecs with her shot in the goal.
Each team used seven kickers in the shoot-out. The score was tied 2-2 after each team used five players. Sophomore Seti Valencia (Sunnyside) made her shot and freshman goalkeeper Angelina Amparano (Salpointe Catholic) had a crucial save to help set up Espinoza’s winner.
Pima scored the first goal of the game when freshman Alyssa Kopach (Ironwood Ridge) scored in the 27th minute off of an assist from Kaitlyn Bassett (Sabino). The Aztecs broke a 1-1 tie when freshman Briannah Gerhart (Tanque Verde) scored in the 60th minute with an assist from fellow freshman Kortney Cahill (Cienega). Pima took a 3-1 advantage a minute later when Bassett netted a goal with an assist from freshman Dulcenella Yebra (Tucson Magnet) in the 61st minute. The Artichokes rallied back with goals in the 75th and 89th minutes to force overtime.
The Aztecs had lost twice to the Artichokes during the regular season by a combined score of 6-1.
Pima head coach Kendra Veliz was impressed with the Aztecs’ resilience and composure.
“I’m proud of how our team played tonight,” said Veliz. “It was challenging mentally going into overtime after getting scored on with less than a minute in regulation but the team pulled together and finished strong.
“It was a tough match, both teams fought hard to the end.”
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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.