YUMA, Ariz. – The phrase “For the first time in team history” has been a perfect descriptor of the Arizona Western College women’s soccer team all season. The season isn’t over yet either, and the team, once again, made history by earning at at-large selection to the NJCAA National Tournament in Foley, Alabama. This is the first time the team has qualified for the national tournament.
The Lady Mats (21-1, ranked fourth in the final NJCAA Poll) were chosen as the fourth seed by the NJCAA selection committee. Twelve teams will be split into four pools for the tournament, and AWC will be in a pool with the fifth seed, Eastern Florida State (14-2-1), and the ninth seed, Laramie County (11-6).
AWC will play Laramie County on the Monday, November 12, at 7:30 p.m. local time and then Eastern Florida State at 7:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday, November 14. After that, the top team from each pool advances to the semifinals on Friday, November 16. The final match is on Saturday, November 17.
This year, the Lady Mats set a record with 21 wins while claiming the first Arizona Community College Athletic Conference title in team history. The team finished the regular season a sparkling 20-0. After beating Scottsdale 1-0 in the Region I Semifinals, AWC lost to a hot Paradise Valley team in the Region I Final in Yuma 4-0.
Christiana Boateng was named the ACCAC Player of the Year after an outstanding campaign. The sophomore forward led AWC with 26 goals in the regular season, and she scored the game winner against Scottsdale in the playoffs. She also tied for the team lead in assists with Vera Asare with 10. Karen Melendrez, Cato Hom, Cyan Scott and Asare all earned All-ACCAC honors with Boateng.
Head coach Nicole Acosta was named the Coach of the Year in her first season as the head coach.
The NJCAA National Tournament will be streamed on NJCAA TV. See the full bracket here.
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.