The Phoenix College Bears' Men's Soccer team began their defense of their first outright ACCAC Regular Season title in impressive fashion with a 4-0 shutout of the Scottsdale Artichokes in the teams' 2014 opener at Scottsdale Community College Friday night. It's the third straight year that the Bears have gotten the season off on a winning note.
Despite the fact that Bears' Men's Head Soccer Coach Dave Cameron had the luxury of starting 10 sophomores in his 11-man lineup, it took the Bears most of the first half to really get into an offensive flow. The Bears didn't break through on the scoreboard until the match's 27th minute, when PC's Roberto Valenzuela (Cortez HS) put the first goal of the season through the net on an assist from newcomer Nick Semintendi (Pinnacle HS) for a 1-0 lead. Insurance for the Bears would come just five minutes later-thanks to a Javier Ayona (Humanities & Science Academy) goal on a nice assist of the Bears' 2013 goal scoring leader, Anthony Tokpah (Valley Vista HS)-and PC took a 2-0 lead into the halftime locker room.
The second half was much the same tempo, with the ball spending the overwhelming majority of the time in Scottsdale's zone. The Bears' offense finally wore out SCC's defense, and broke through for another pair of goals within a five-minute span. Sophomore Roberto Carrizosa (Metro Tech) had a hand in both goals, scoring his first goal of the season unassisted in the 77th minute, then setting up fellow soph Sergio Rizo (Verrado HS) in the 81st minute to close out the night's scoring. Meanwhile, the Bears' backline made things easy for new goalkeeper Chase Boulton (Highland HS), not allowing a Scottsdale shot on goal in the first half, and limiting them to five shots on goal the entire night.
The Bears (1-0 overall, 1-0 ACCAC) now get the weekend off to prepare for their home opener next Tuesday, August 26th against Gateway at Hogan Field at Hoy Stadium on the PC campus (15th Avenue north of Thomas Road in Phoenix). Kickoff is scheduled for 6PM.
In a season-opening match that lasted over 2 1/2 hours, the Phoenix College Women's Soccer team battled perennial ACCAC Women's Soccer powerhouse Scottsdale to a 3-3 tie at Scottsdale Community College Friday night.
The overhaul of the roster in the off-season by Bears' Women's Head Soccer Coach Chris Sagar was evident from the start Friday night as nine Bears' freshmen took the field to start the match. They were immediately initiated to the world of college soccer by the more experienced Artichokes, who scored four minutes into the match-thanks to a 25-yard strike by Marissa Stevens. The goal seemed to deflate the Bears for much of the first half, and Stevens tacked on her 2nd goal of the half with just over three minutes left to give the Artichokes a 2-0 lead. Surprisingly, that woke the Bears up, and just 75 seconds later, Bears' newcomer Kiawna (kee-AW-nuh) Mounts motored through the SCC defense for an unassisted goal that cut the PC deficit to just one going into the halftime.
Mounts and the Bears picked up right where they left off coming out of the halftime locker room, tyingthe match less than a minute into half #2 on Mounts' 2nd goal in a three-minute span from an Abigail Chavez assist (Westview HS). The match would stay tied until the 60th minute, when Grand Canyon University transfer Jessica Barton put in her bid for the Bears' "highlight goal of the year", weaving a 20-yard shot through seven different players, the last of which being the Scottsdale goalkeeper to give the Bears their first lead of 2014 at 3-2. The Bears continued to keep the pressure on SCC's defense throughout the 2nd half, outshooting the Artichokes, 9-4. after halftime. Alas, the Artichokes used one of those four 2nd-half shots to tie things up in the 80th minute-courtesy of SCC's Kyndra Hargens. After that, despite an unusually cool August night, the two teams both seemed to run out of gas, and stayed knotted up for the final 10 minutes of regulation as well as a pair of scoreless 10-minute overtime periods.
Barton (Willow Canyon HS) was responsible for 6 of PC's 13 shots on goal on the night, while Stevens had 3 of Scottsdale's 11 shots. The Bears (0-0-1 overall, 0-0-1 ACCAC) now have four days to rest in preparation for their 2014 home opener Tuesday. They'll host the Geckos of Gateway Community College at Hogan Field at Hoy Stadium on the PC campus (15th Avenue north of Thomas Road in Phoenix). The women will play the second game of the ACCAC Men's-Women's Soccer doubleheader at approximately 8PM following the conclusion of the men's match.
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