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Matador soccer dominates South Mountain
One word can describe the No. 10 Arizona Western College soccer team's play Monday against winless South Mountain: dominant.
The Matadors certainly were against the Cougars, beating them 6-0 at the AWC soccer field, recording their sixth shutout in seven games and increasing their winning streak to seven.
“We played well. We attacked, we could have made it sharper but at the end of the day we got the result we wanted,” said Matador sophomore Mario Soto.
Soto, with a team-high eight goals, started the assault with a goal in the 10th minute off a deflection. Francisco Ramirez headed in the game's second goal just seconds after entering the game off a Lupe Paz corner kick in the 20th minute. Four minutes later, Ramirez assisted Julio Castillo in extending the lead to 3-0 going into the half for AWC (8-1 overall, 8-1 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference).
“We came out flat. We have a young team. It's hard to compete with the No. 10-ranked team in the nation. We have a lot of injuries. But I am not making excuses. We need to be a little more aggressive,” said South Mountain coach Scott Vaughan. “Our midfielders are learning. We have new players playing due to injuries.”
The injuries kept coming for the Cougars in the 59th minute as freshman goalkeeper Garrett Payne was taken down when he caught a blow to the trachea. The ambulance that was called did not have to transport him.
In the second half, the dominant defense of the Matadors did not allow a single shot on goal. They outshot the Cougars (0-8 overall, 0-8 ACCAC) 22-2.
Soto cracked open the second half with his second goal off Arizona Western assist leader Donal Landrum in the 48th minute after colliding with Payne to make it 4-0. Landrum would assist once again when he found freshman Etiandro Tavares who fired a laser to the back of the net in the 55th minute. Jordan Evans finished the Matador scoring when Castillo and Ramirez assisted in scoring the final goal to make it 6-0.
“We played well enough in the first half. I was pretty pleased. We had a lead we did not relinquish,” said Matador coach Kenny Dale. “We need to play with more physical intensity and finish on our opportunities to score goals. South Mountain is a better team than their record shows. They play with a lot of passion.”
Dale said the leadership of goalie Oscar Hernandez has been great, especially talking to his defense.
“I am pleased with their communication. If they keep communicating, they won't have to make stressful saves. They organize the defense well.”
The Matadors travel to play No. 2 Yavapai in an ACCAC showdown in Prescott on Thursday.