YUMA, Ariz. – After a historic season, twelve members of the Arizona Western Men’s Soccer team will be continuing their athletic and academic careers at four-year institutions.
The ACCAC and Region I Goalkeeper of the Year Duro Dragicevic committed to the defending National Champion in NCAA Division II, the University of Charleston in West Virginia. Dragicevic recorded six clean sheets in 19 starts and tallied 94 saves in his lone season as a Matador. Despite being just a freshman, the Australian took a leadership role for his constant communication and provided a flare with a pair of NJCAA Top Plays including his lone assist to help tie a late-season conference match against Chandler-Gilbert.
Scoring goals was seldom a problem for the Matadors in 2019 with 18 different members registering at least one goal. Brazilian Leo Amaral, Spaniard Jesus Chillon, and Texan Daniel Vazquez combined for 15 goals among them and will all be attending Wayland Baptist University in San Antonio, Texas. Each contributed key moments in AWC’s Conference Semifinal comeback over Phoenix College. Chillon and Vazquez linked up to get on the scoreboard while Amaral was able to net the golden goal in overtime.
Two more Matadors will continue their careers as teammates as Freshmen Giorgio Martino and Michael Nachforg will link up again at NAIA’s The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, CA. Both contributed to the score line in their freshmen seasons at AWC.
Three more Matadors are heading west, but to different locations. Sophomores Daniel Adeyeye, Andre Fields, and Billy Walshe will scatter across California. Adeyeye returns within a short drive of his hometown Oakland to California State University-Humboldt in Northern California. Fields proved an impactful member of the backline in his five starts and will move closer to his San Diego, California home by heading to NAIA St. Katherine University in San Marcos. Walshe will depart from nearby San Luis to central California and play for Antelope University, also in the NAIA.
Esteban Franco was a difference maker with four goals during his sophomore season at AWC and will look to carry on the impactful play at Park University in Gilbert, Arizona.
Sophomore defender Arturo Ledezma will also move on to four-year schools after a terrific campaign and will make his way to Norwich University in Vermont.
In addition to the eleven Mats from 2019, Jorge Cayo Zelada-who played at AWC in 2018 is lacing up the cleats for Lyon College in Arkansas.
This year’s collection of Matadors moving on in 2019-2020 makes for 20 total over the last two seasons from the Arizona Western Men’s Soccer team furthering the list of accomplishments from another successful class.
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.