YUMA, Ariz. – For the first time in team history, the Arizona Western College women’s soccer team hosted a playoff game. Now, four sophomores from the team have signed to continue their education and playing careers at four-year schools. Abigail Rosales signed with Ottawa University in Kansas, Asiah Greene signed with Southwestern College in Kansas, and Daisy Rodriguez and Janet Reyes signed with the University of Antelope Valley in California.
“I’m really proud of them, and it’s really exciting for them,” said AWC head coach Alexia Poon. “We had a great season, and I loved coaching them even though I only had them for a year. I am going to miss them.”
Rosales spent the season directing traffic and setting up the offense in the midfield. The sophomore was a steady presence and always seemed to be in the right spot at the right time. She finished third on the team with eight goals and was a threat to score on any free kicks or shots from 35 yards out. She added seven assists and had two game winning goals. She was an Honorable Mention on the All-Arizona Community College Athletic Conference teams at the end of the season.
As a freshman two seasons ago (she sat out last year due to an injury), Rosales scored two goals and had two assists in 20 games.
“Abby brought something different both offensively and defensively,” said Poon. “She is a smart and crafty player who was able to fill a variety of roles on the field. Whatever was asked of her, she was able to get it done.”
Ottawa University is a private school located in Ottawa, Kansas and competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The Braves finished 17th at the NAIA National Tournament last season and are a part of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC).
Greene was a part of a versatile Lady Matador defense that shifted and changed throughout the year. The sophomore added two goals and one assist in 18 games. Her passes and touch on long balls from the back opened up opportunities up front.
As a freshman, Greene started and played in all 21 games and helped the team post a 1.71 goals against average.
“Asiah was our rock in our defense,” said Poon. “She is a great leader both on and off the field. She is very engaged and personable, and her experiences in the back line at AWC will bring leadership to Southwestern.”
Southwestern College also competes in the KCAC and is located in Winfield, Kansas.
Rodriguez was a force on the outside as a sophomore for AWC. She was always on the attack and looked to find open teammates. Her 18 assists led the team and were second in the conference. She added five goals as well in 21 games. At the end of the season, she was named First Team All-ACCAC. .
As a freshman, Rodriguez piled up five goals and 18 assists in 18 games.
“Daisy was a key to our attack all season,” said Poon. “She came through serious adversity, and the success she had both academically and athletically here will set her up for next season. She is going to be a rock star at Antelope Valley.”
Reyes started every game and played nearly 1700 minutes in goal for the Lady Mats as a sophomore. She had three shutouts and a 12-8-1 record while making 70 saves. She also helped direct traffic and came up with big stops by shutting down breakaways throughout the year.
“It takes someone special to play as many minutes as Janet did,” said Poon. “She was positive and motivated all season, and her love for the game was something the team thrived on.”
As a freshman, Reyes played in 19 games (12 starts) and made 88 saves.
The University of Antelope Valley plays in the NAIA in the California Pacific Conference. The school is located in Lancaster, California.
Two other sophomores are also set to graduate and transfer, but they will hang up their collegiate cleats after their time at AWC. Jasmine Morice plans to head to UNLV in the fall, and Desiree Harris will transfer to Arizona State. Both Morice and Harris are majoring in Kinesiology with the goal of becoming athletic trainers or physical therapists.
“Seeing those two move on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree is a huge accomplishment, and it is something to be proud of,” said Poon.
Arizona Western College is one of the top community colleges in Arizona. The college boasts partnerships with all three state universities that include face-to-face classes in Yuma. AWC leads the state in enrollment growth over the past 10 years and handed out more than 2,400 certificates and degrees in 2015-16.