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Pima women's soccer upsets Scottsdale in PKs to advance to regional finals

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team (2-5-2) pulled out a tremendous win to keep its season alive on Wednesday in the NJCAA Region I, Division II Semifinals.

The No. 3-seeded Aztecs upset No. 2 seed Scottsdale Community College 3-3 (Pima wins 4-3 in penalty kicks). Sophomore Litycia Espinoza (Sahuarita HS) won the match for the Aztecs with her shot in the goal.

Each team used seven kickers in the shoot-out. The score was tied 2-2 after each team used five players. Sophomore Seti Valencia (Sunnyside HS) made her shot and freshman goalkeeper Angelina Amparano (Salpointe Catholic HS) came through with a save to help set up Espinoza’s winner.

The Aztecs broke a 1-1 tie when freshman Briannah Gerhart (Tanque Verde HS) scored in the 60th minute with an assist from fellow freshman Kortney Cahill (Cienega HS) in the 60th minute. 

The Aztecs took a 3-1 advantage a minute later when freshman Kaitlyn Bassett (Sabino HS) netted her goal with an assist from freshman Dulcenella Yebra (Tucson Magnet HS) in the 61st minute.

The Artichokes rallied back with goals in the 75th and 89th minutes to force overtime.

The Aztecs got on the board when freshman Alyssa Kopach (Ironwood Ridge HS) scored in the 27th minute when an assist from Bassett. 

Coach’s Quote: “I’m proud of how our team played tonight. It was challenging mentally going into overtime after getting scored on with less than a minute in regulation but the team pulled together and finished strong,” Pima women’s soccer coach Kendra Veliz said. “It was a tough match, both teams fought hard to the end.”

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The Aztecs had lost twice to the Artichokes during the regular season by a combined score of 6-1.

The Aztecs will play at No. 1 seeded Phoenix College on Saturday in the NJCAA Region I, Division II Finals. Match begins at 7 p.m.

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Photos by Stephanie Van Latum

Freshman Angelina Amparano (Salpointe Catholic HS) made a crucial save during the penalty kick shoot-out and sophomore Litycia Espinoza (Sahuarita HS) scored the final goal as the No. 3 seeded Aztecs women's soccer team upset No. 2 Scottsdale Community College 3-3 (Pima wins 4-3 in penalty kicks) to advance to the NJCAA Region I, Division II Finals.

NJCAA Region I, Division II Semifinals

(3) Pima CC Aztecs 3, (2) Scottsdale CC Artichokes 3 (Pima wins 4-3 in PKs)

Pima goals: Alyssa Kopach (Kaitlyn Bassett) 27th minute; Briannah Gerhart (Kortney Cahill) 60th minute; Bassett (Dulcenella Yebra) 61st minute. PK goals: Alyssa Kopach, Angelina Amparano, Seti Valencia and Litycia Espinoza.