Pima Community College’s media relations department contributed information for this report:
The Pima Community College men’s soccer team opened up Pool B play at the NJCAA Division II national tournament on Monday at the Stryker Sports Complex in Wichita, Kan., with a 3-2 win over Muskegon Community College.
The No. 2-seeded Aztecs took the lead for good when sophomore Sam Lossou (Rincon/University grad) scored from the right side inside the box as sophomore Manuel Quiroz (Sunnyside) provided a great pass in the 58th minute.
The Aztecs were looking to run away with it as they took a 2-0 advantage early in the first half. Sophomore Francisco Manzo (Salpointe Catholic) scored two goals. He netted the first one inside the box with an assist from freshman Jacob Garcia (Walden Grove) two minutes into the game.
Manzo’s second goal came off a rebounded corner kick in the 17th minute.
The Jayhawks got on the scoreboard when Flynn De Luca scored with 16 seconds left in the first half. Corne Boshoff tied the game in the 54th minute.
The Aztecs (16-1-1) finished the game with 16 shots. Sophomore goalkeeper Juan Suarez (Desert View) had four saves.
“They (Muskegon) came out with lot of energy. A hunger to win. We had beaten them the last three times, Coach (David Cosgrove) said, in the national tournament,” Lossou said. “They were definitely coming out and prove something but we did our thing and stuck in there.
“Coach pulled me aside and told me to get the team going and lead them and that’s what led me to score. He put confidence in me and just got the job done.”
The Aztecs have another rematch to look forward to on Wednesday when they play No. 7 seed Southeastern Community College at 12:30 p.m. Tucson time. The Aztecs lost to the Blackhawks in the national semifinals last season.
“We feel good. Coach is going to talk about little things we messed up on today; how we didn’t do so well in the first half and in the second half we picked it up,” Lossou said. “We just have to keep that going moving forward.”