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Posted Sep 16, 2012, 10:18 am
Pima Community College's soccer team had no shortage of possession and got plenty of looks at goal, but could not break through and fell to Yavapai College on Saturday afternoon thanks to two first-half goals.
The Yavapai Roughriders were recently placed at number two in national junior college rankings.
Carlos Lara opened the scoring in the 8th minute for Yavapai, and the Roughriders followed up in the 20th with Kyle Morris scoring off a delivery from first-half substitute Albert Larson.
Despite the 2-0 score line, Pima managed 7 shots on goal to Yavapai's 8. Pima found it impossible to get past Yavapai's goalkeeper Daniel Sellitti.
Pima continue the offensive pressure, but could not break through. The best chance came in the 52nd minute when several Pima attackers made it behind the defense and a heroic save from Sellitti prevented the Aztecs from getting on the scoreboard.
Yavapai had its share of second-half shots too, but failed to extend their lead. A chance in the 65th minute found Salpointe graduate Ben Eyde out of the box, but defender Morgan Quintana saved it with a header that sent the shot over the crossbar.
The game ended 2-0 with Pima on the wrong end of the scoreline.
The Aztecs travel to Mesa for their next match against Mesa Community College on Sept. 20.
Robust and hardy
It would be an understatement to say that Pima College coach Dave Cosgrove doesn't enjoy losing, but he acknowledged that his team fell to a very good squad.
"Obviously, they are very good. They always are," said Cosgrove after the game. "All that's for a reason. It's not a fluke."
Yavapai has not lost this season, and have defeated their opponents by a combined score of 26-2.
"I thought we played our best game," Cosgrove said. "But our problem continues to be the same. When we play real well, we don't score goals."
Finishing, as the soccer folks call it, was a problem for Pima, but scoring would have been easier if not for netminder Sellitti, who turned in another fantastic performance. Sellitti has yet to be beaten this season. The only goals against Yavapai came in the only game in which he did not make an appearance.
Yes, they faced a fantastic team with a brick wall in the goal. Still, the team would have liked their performance to be better reflected in the scoreline.
"We had a good showing," said Fabian Romero, who came on as a substitute and had three shots. "I don't think the score is a fair showing of what actually went on during the game."
"All the good stuff we do, all the hard work put in, we don't reward ourselves. It's frustrating," Cosgrove said after the game. "But, I think it shows our kids that we can compete at the highest level. We just have to turn the corner and start making the big plays."
"We've got to improve our finishing," said Romero. "Then we'll be unstoppable."
You'd have to go back to last year's regional championship for the last match that Yavapai lost. Back on October 29th, Yavapai suffered a 2-0 loss at the hands of, you guessed it, Pima.
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Over the last decade and a half the teams have built a strong rivalry, expressed in this particular match by one cluster of fans who trashed talked the players, and a bit of trash-talking on the field as well.
"It's a really intense, good rivalry," said Cosgrove.
A clutch of fans wearing the name and number of Pima sniper Declan Fulton sat just off the touchline and shouted things at individual Yavapai players when they ventured too close. It may have rattled a Roughrider or two, but Cosgrove thought it paled in comparison to what goes on in Prescott.
"It's ten times worse," he said of the atmosphere at home at Yavapai College. "They have twenty years of tradition. They'll have a thousand people at a game, lots of alumni, a great environment."
FC Tucson watch
Among the players on Yavapai's roster is Junior Gbapou, who played towards the end of the season for FC Tucson. He's scored four goals for the Roughriders so far this season