Pima soccer's NJCAA '21 nat'l champ Fernando Garate commits to Ivy League
Aztec sophomore defender to play for Cornell University
Pima Community College men’s soccer player Fernando Garate (Salpointe Catholic HS) is continuing his education and collegiate career at a prestigious four-year university.
Garate, a sophomore defender, committed to play at Cornell University, an Ivy League institution in Ithaca, N.Y.
Cornell was ranked No. 14 in 2022 and lost in the NCAA National Tournament 1-0 to Syracuse, who went on to win the NCAA Division I National Championship.
Garate played and started 15 games in the backfield this season as he helped the Aztecs reach the NJCAA Division II National Tournament. Pima earned six shutout victories and surrendered 16 goals, which was tied for the second lowest in the ACCAC conference. The Aztecs posted a goals-against-average of 0.97 (second lowest in the conference).
Garate was also part of the 2021 NJCAA Division II National Championship team. He scored two goals and had two assists as he played in 20 games; making 18 starts in the backfield. The Aztecs produced nine shutout victories and gave up 17 goals.
“In my 26 years at Pima College, the men's soccer program has never sent a student athlete to an Ivy League school. In 2023, I am extremely happy and proud that Fernando Garate Jr. has committed to attend Cornell University,” Pima men’s soccer coach David Cosgrove said. “It is almost unheard of that an Ivy League school would accept a junior college transfer. However, Fernando, checks all the boxes as a student athlete. Simply put, Fernando, a 2021 NJCAA national champion, is one of the best student athletes in my 26 years at Pima. He is the perfect person to represent Pima soccer and Pima Community College at such a prestigious university. Due to his hard work in the classroom and on the field, he will now have the opportunity to graduate from an Ivy League school. Full credit goes to Fernando and his parents on this fantastic accomplishment.”
Garate chose to attend Pima over the University of Arizona and other four-year institutions out of high school.
“This is the power of Pima, providing local student athletes unbelievable opportunities they would not have had without Pima and Pima Athletics. This is one of my best days ever as a Pima alumni and Pima coach,” Cosgrove added
The Aztecs went 28-5-5 in two years with Garate on the roster.