The Pima Community College men's soccer team (16-3-3) played another classic battle with Yavapai College on Saturday in the NJCAA Region I, Division I finals.
The No. 1 seeded Aztecs fell short in their quest for a fourth straight region title as they fell to the Roughriders (19-2-3) 2-1 at Kino North Stadium. The loss also marked the first time the Aztecs lost at Kino this season.
The Roughriders got on the board first in the 20th minute but the Aztecs tied the game 20 minutes later. Freshman Ricky Flores (Desert View HS) drove the length of the field and passed to freshman Daisuke Takanaka. He played the ball to freshman Hugo Kametani as he hit his shot inside the box to tie the game at 1-1. The score remained 1-1 at halftime.
The Aztecs had a chance to take the lead when sophomore Kevin Perez kicked it from 25 yards out. The ball bounced off the goal post twice and Yavapai was able to clear it in the 50th minute. The Roughriders scored one minute later to take the lead.
The Aztecs had two more chances at the goal in the 57th and 75th minute but were able to convert. Their final opportunity came with 28 seconds left but they couldn't get a clear shot in a crowded box.
Freshman goalkeeper David Silva finished the game with four saves.
The Aztecs will be part of the NJCAA District I Tournament next Friday and Saturday in Prescott. The Aztecs must win their semifinal game to qualify for the NJCAA Division I Tournament. Check pimaaztecs.com for schedule updates.