YUMA, Ariz. – A hot and cold week near the end of the season sent the Arizona Western men’s soccer team down three spots in the latest NJCAA men’s soccer poll. The Mats were 17th in the poll that was released today after going 1-1 last week to close out the regular season.
During the week, Arizona Western lost at Yavapai 6-1 on Tuesday before bouncing back in a big way on Thursday. AWC knocked off fifth-ranked Pima 2-0 in Yuma to close out the regular season.
Last night, the Mats (14-4-3 overall) opened up the Region I Playoffs with an intense match that went to penalty kicks. AWC advanced to the Region I Semifinals 5-4 on the PK’s after tying Chandler-Gilbert 1-1 through regulation and two overtimes.
AWC has been a steady presence throughout the year in the top 20. The Mats rose as high as ninth in the polls before moving back into the teens the last two weeks.
Three other teams from the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference are ranked in the top 20. Pima is fifth, Yavapai is sixth and Phoenix is 13th.
The Mats are headed to the Region I Semifinals at Pima on Wednesday night. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. at Kino North Stadium, and the winner of that match will play the winner of Phoenix and Yavapai on Saturday.
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.