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AWC men’s and women’s Region I championship soccer previews

The Arizona Western men's and women's soccer team can both clinch Region I titles tonight at home at Matador Field

YUMA, Ariz. ( KYMA, KECY-TV ) - Revenge is on the minds of the Arizona Western College men's soccer team as they host Yavapai tonight at 4:30 p.m. for the Region I Championship.

Arizona Western enters the contest 13-2 and ranked #9 in Division I. Their only conference loss came on the road to Yavapai on October 5th.

"We lost to them in the regular season so revenge is going to be a big motivator for our guys I think," Head coach Kenny Dale said. "We’re very excited and I don’t feel very much pressure because every team is brand new every year. One of the nice things about coaching at this level is each team has its chance to forge its own identity, for better or for worse."

The Matadors eye another trip to the national championship game and to have a chance, a win on Friday in the Region I Championship is a must.

 "We’re a fantastic team," Sophomore captain and Kofa grad Ernie Garza said. "In the game when we lost to them it was our mistakes. Nationals is our top priority but it’s every game and every step and Friday is the game to head that way."

Although the Matadors are enjoying another stellar season, it's being done with 20 new players on the roster.

"I’m real excited for the guys, they’ve come together," Dale said. "When some of our international players started speaking spanish, I felt pretty good about that because they were getting to know their teammates better. We’re still blending and meshing things together."

Arizona Western Matadors men's soccer players Nozomu Kamei, Atsuki Sato, and Shoki Yoshida were all named First-Team All-ACCAC and All-Region.

The women's team is also enjoying much success. The Lady Matadors just completed their first ever undefeated regular season resulting in the programs second conference title in program history.

Four Arizona Western Lady Matadors women's soccer players were named All-ACCAC.

Head Coach Ivan Dizdar was also named ACCAC Coach of the Year.

The Lady Matadors currently stand at 13-0 heading into tonight Region I championship game against Cochise. The 13 wins are the most wins since 2018 when the Lady Matadors went on to win 21 games en route to an NJCAA National Tournament birth. That was also the last and only time the Lady Matadors have made the National Tournament.

Tonight, the men face Yavapai at 4:30 p.m. followed by the women versus Cochise at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets for tonight's Region I championship game are $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for seniors. Passes will not be accepted for postseason games. Arizona Western College students get in free with their AWC ID. 


Article Topic Follows: College Sports

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Scott Gross

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