YUMA, Ariz. – Absorb, counter, get wide and create. The 14th ranked Arizona Western men’s soccer team executed its game plan with precision for 90 minutes on Thursday night to take out fifth-ranked Pima 2-0. AWC will finish either third or fourth in the conference depending on the outcome of a Phoenix-Glendale match.
George Sanchez pegged the Mats (13-4-3 overall, 13-4-3 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) to an early lead. The sophomore zinged a laser on goal from 30 yards out, and the shot caught the bottom of the crossbar and bounced in for a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute. Juan Arango picked up the assist after softly touching a pass to Sanchez. It was Sanchez’s ninth goal of the season.
Arango and Sanchez combined for another goal less than five minutes into the second half. Sanchez heaved a long throw-in into the box, and Arango nipped it with his toe past Pima’s goalkeeper on the near post for a 2-0 lead. Arango now has eight goals.
Pima kept possession of the ball through most of the rest of the match, but the Matador defense held firm and stayed disciplined to keep a clean sheet. AWC had a few chances on the counterattack, but they went wide.
The Mats are fourth in the conference standings and will host a home playoff match on Monday. Kick-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. as the Mats take on Chandler-Gilbert Community College.
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 2,300 certificates and degrees in 2016-17.