YUMA, Ariz. – All it took was a win, and the Arizona Western College women’s soccer team would host its first ever playoff match. The Lady Mats scored early to lock things up quickly in a 7-0 win over Cochise College on Tuesday night.
The win guarantees Arizona Western (12-6-1 overall, 12-6-1 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) at least the fourth seed. If the team can win its final match of the season at Pima on Thursday, it could get to the third seed. The top six teams in the conference make the playoffs, with the first and second seeds receiving a bye.
Karla Navarro put Arizona Western up with her 12th goal of the season. She headed home a perfect corner from Daisy Rodriguez (17th assist) in the fifth minute for a 1-0 lead.
Six minutes later, Jasmine Morice scored off a nice feed from Cinthya Samaniego. Morice found space in the middle, and Samaniego sent a perfect through ball that Morice tapped home for her third goal of the year.
In the 25th minute, Pabla Sicairos struck a perfect shot from about 25 yards out on the left side. It curled under the crossbar and inside the right post for a 3-0 lead. The goal was Sicairos’ fifth of the season, and Abby Rosales earned her sixth assist.
The Lady Mats opened up the floodgates in the final 20 minutes with four goals. Rodriguez started the scoring spree with a cross from the right side that carried all the way into the goal. It was her fifth goal of the year, and Navarro picked up her eighth assist.
Navarro added her second goal of the night (and 13th total) after touching home a quick cross from Samaniego in the 79th minute.
Samaniego added her third assist of the match (and seventh of the season) less than a minute later. This time she crossed the ball to Emily Gardea who headed it home for a 6-0 lead.
Samaniego closed out the scoring with a goal of her own in the 86th minute. Cochise turned the ball over, and she struck it straight and true from 30 yards out. It was her 13th goal of the season.
AWC’s match on Thursday with Pima is scheduled to start at 7:00 pm. The conference playoffs begin on Monday, October 24.
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.