YUMA, Ariz. – Down three goals at the half, the Arizona Western College men’s soccer team seemed dead in the water. After halftime, the Mats (7-1-1 overall, 7-1-1 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) came out possessed. Yerry Mendez dazzled with three goals, and AWC stormed back to win 4-3 over Yavapai College (6-3 overall, 6-3 ACCAC).

Mendez put the Mats on a roll less than five minutes into the second half. He finished off a pretty cross from Jorge Cayo Zelada in the 49th minute to cut it to 3-1. It was Mendez’s fourth goal of the season.

The Mats started to create dangerous chances by getting the ball wide and sending it into the box, and Mendez struck again. The ball bounced off a pile of bodies on a Matador corner, and Mendez found space at the penalty spot. He whiffed his first attempt, but collected himself and delivered a strike straight into the back of the net to cut it to 3-2 in the 55th minute.

Alex Avila tied it up on yet another cross in the 60th minute. Arturo Ledezma beat his man and sent a screamer across the mouth of the goal, and Avila bodied it in from point blank. His second goal of the season made it 3-3.

After Yavapai hit the crossbar in the 74th minute, Mendez headed one home to put AWC ahead 4-3. Steven Salas lofted a ball into the box, and Mendez’s header from about 10 yards bounced off the bottom of the crossbar and went in in the 79th minute.

The Roughriders pushed numbers forward late, but AWC held firm to preserve the win.

Yavapai took the lead on the first corner of the match in the fifth minute on an AWC own goal. It was the second match that AWC has surrendered an own goal.

The Roughriders made it 2-0 in the 8th minute when Jose Perez Flores played a nice through ball to Jesus Vargas. Vargas touched it past the keeper.

Yavapai added one more with 46 seconds to play in the first half. Perez Flores played another through ball, and Miguel Rubio kicked it in for a 3-0 lead headed into the half.

AWC is back in action on Thursday. Mesa comes to Yuma to play at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are only $5 for adults and $3 for seniors/military. Kids 12 and under and AWC students and staff (with AWC ID) get in for FREE!

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.


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