Knocked Off Course

YUMA, Ariz. – All historic streaks come to a close. For the Arizona Western College women’s soccer team, the Region I Final on Saturday night ended a 21-match winning streak. AWC (21-1 overall) lost 4-0 to an efficient Paradise Valley Community College team (18-4-1 overall) that couldn’t miss. PVCC scored four goals on five shots on goal.

Paradise Valley’s early pressure made it tough for AWC to connect early on, and the Pumas struck first in the 11th minute. Karina Lopez Martinez shook free down the right sideline before lofting a cross into the box. Katie Townsend nodded it in for a 1-0 lead.

Two minutes later, PVCC’s Marisela Labansat made it 2-0 off a throw-in. She trapped down Bailey Rozendaal’s throw and unleashed a rocket that curled under the crossbar from 20 yards out. AWC hadn’t trailed by multiple goals in the season and had only given up two goals twice to an opponent all year.

In the 33rd minute, Townsend struck again for Paradise Valley to make it 3-0. She forced a turnover and ripped a monster shot on target for her second goal of the match.

After halftime, Arizona Western seemed to settle down and connect better, but the team still had trouble in the final third of the field. AWC had seven shots on goal in the match, but most were from 30 or more yards.

Meanwhile, Paradise Valley added one more goal in the 62nd minute. Labansat, the Region I MVP, picked up her second goal with another blast. She let it rip from 18 yards to put her team up 4-0. Tessa Alexopoulos had the assist.

With the loss, the Lady Mats will have to wait and see if they earn an at-large bid to the NJCAA National Tournament. The Lady Mats still won the first conference title in team history while also setting a record with 21 straight wins. This is also the first time the team had hosted the Region I Final.

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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