Roughriders edge Chandler-Gilbert, host Mesa CC in regionals’ 1st round Oct. 23
Junior College Men's Soccer
CHANDLER — Yavapai College’s soccer team couldn’t defend its ACCAC regular-season title this fall, but the Roughriders still qualified for the NJCAA Region 1, Division I tournament, and perhaps that’s what matters most.
The Roughriders clinched the No. 4 seed into the regional tournament and will face Mesa Community College in the quarterfinal round at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oc t. 23, at Ken Lindley Field in Prescott after beating Chandler-Gilbert CC, 1-0, on Saturday, Oct. 20.
Yavapai finished the regular season with a 15-6 overall record and a 14-6 mark in conference. Chandler-Gilbert dropped to 10-9-1. Chandler-Gilbert carries the sixth and final regional seed, and it will visit No. 3 seed Arizona Western College Oct. 23.
The Yavapai-Mesa winner will travel to ACCAC champion Pima CC for a semifinal match on Thursday, Oct. 25, in Tucson. The Arizona Western-Chandler-Gilbert victor visits ACCAC runner-up Phoenix College for that semifinal on the 25th.
The region championship is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 27, at the highest remaining seed. Whichever team wins the region will qualify for and play host to the NJCAA West District playoffs Nov. 2 and 3. The district champion receives an automatic berth into the NJCAA National Tournament Nov. 12-14, 16 and 17, at Daytona State Soccer Stadium in Daytona, Florida.
In a make-up game on Saturday, which was rescheduled from Oct. 2, Yavapai tallied the lone goal of the match in the 54th minute when Esteban Franco scored on an assist from Jose Perez Flores. Perez Flores has now extended his Yavapai career assists record to 36.
Meanwhile, Roughriders goalkeeper Luke Frank recorded Yavapai’s sixth shutout of the season, finishing with two saves. Yavapai outshot the Coyotes, 11-2, and had four corner kicks to Chandler-Gilbert’s two.
Against Mesa CC this season, Yavapai edged the Thunderbirds, 2-1, Sept. 6 in Mesa, but later lost, 2-1, in overtime Oct. 6 in Prescott Valley.
Yavapai faces Mesa at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Ken Lindley Field to decide which team advances to the regional semifinals.
Admission for Tuesday’s regional playoff in Prescott costs $5 per adult and $3 per child. Children ages 6 and younger get in free. No passes are allowed.