Information provided by Pima College media relations director Ray Suarez:
The Pima Community College men’s soccer team earned a spot in the Final Four at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament after closing out Pool A play unbeaten on Monday.
The No. 1-seeded Aztecs defeated No. 8 Patrick Henry Community College of Martinsville, Va., 3-0 on Monday. The Aztecs (12-1) outscored their opponents 5-0 in Pool A play.
“That’s been the most important thing is we haven’t given up a goal and we’ve been solid defensively,” Pima coach David Cosgrove said. “In order for us to be successful, we’ve got to be good defensively. If we do that, we can stay in most games.”
The Aztecs advance to Wednesday’s national semifinal round. Their opponent is to be determined. This is the fourth time in six years that Pima will be a Final Four participant.
The Aztecs got on the scoreboard early Monday when sophomore Francisco Manzo (a Salpointe Catholic High School alum) got fouled in the box. Sophomore Manuel Quiroz (Sunnyside) converted on the ensuing penalty kick to put the Aztecs ahead in the 2nd minute.
Pima went up 2-0 when sophomore Zak Mohamed (Rincon/University) scored in the 36th minute after his shot was set up in the box by Quiroz.
Sophomore Seungeon Kim scored one more insurance goal for the Aztecs in the 70th minute with Manzo recording the assist.
The Aztecs’ defense smothered the Patriots’ opportunities. Patrick Henry (6-4-1) finished with three shots on goal.
Sophomore Juan Suarez (Desert View) had three saves. He made a save on a header after a corner kick and another off a free kick towards the end of the first half. Pima had 11 shots on goal.
“We did what we needed to do today,” Cosgrove said. “This is a great accomplishment for the kids and for the school. Now we’ll get ready for semifinals. It’s going to be a battle. We just need to create opportunities and score goals.”
The Aztecs will play in the early game on Wednesday. Game time is set for 8:00 a.m. Tucson time.