YUMA — Through nine matches, the 2018 Yavapai College men’s soccer team has already equaled the total number of losses that the 2017 squad had all of last season.
Despite nabbing a 3-0 lead in the first half of their ACCAC match on Tuesday night, Sept. 18, the Roughriders lost a heartbreaker, as Arizona Western College came from behind to steal a 4-3 victory with four unanswered goals in the second half.
With the loss, Yavapai’s record dropped to 6-3-0, while the Matadors improved to 7-1-1. The Roughriders sit in fourth place in the 11-team league, behind NJCAA Division I No. 3-ranked Phoenix College, No. 5-ranked Pima Community College and Western.
Yavapai, the defending co-ACCAC champion with Pima, is the midst of one of its toughest stretches without coach Mike Pantalione, who went on family medical leave Sept. 14. Pantalione had not missed a match in the program’s 30-year history until Sept. 15, when the Roughriders routed Paradise Valley CC, 12-2, in Phoenix.
Revered associate coach Hugh Bell is filling in for Pantalione in the latter’s absence. Bell’s 1-1-0.
Yavapai will play host to Pima at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at Ken Lindley Field in Prescott. The Roughriders will then welcome Phoenix College to Lindley Field at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.
Arizona Western will play host to Mesa CC at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20.
Doug Cook is a reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at email@example.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.