Congrats to Yerry Mendez for scoring the game winner for his college, Arizona Western. Thanks for making us proud!
YUMA, Ariz. – On Thursday afternoon, all the Arizona Western College men’s soccer team needed was one final chance. The Mats (1-0 overall, 1-0 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) and fourth-ranked Pima Community College (0-1 overall, 0-1 ACCAC) were scoreless after 90 minutes, but Yerry Mendez coolly slotted home the game winner in the 95th minutes to power AWC to a season-opening 1-0 win.
The game-winning play started on a Pima goal kick. AWC’s Steven Salas headed the ball forward near midfield, and Nemanja Zivanovic beat his man to the ball and slipped it through to Mendez. Mendez used one touch to settle the ball on the run before shooting the ball to the far post for the win.
Both sides were sloppy for long stretches during regulation, and neither offense could consistently connect. Each team had four shots in regulation, but the goalkeepers proved equal to the task.
AWC’s Heriberto Ruiz made a nice stop near the end of the first half when Pima’s Hugo Kametami smashed a shot from a sharp angle towards the near post. Ruiz also stood tall and strong while punching out several dangerous corner kicks in the second half.
The Mats had one of their best chances late in regulation. After pushing numbers forward and earning a corner kick, AWC had a shot ring off the post with less than two minutes to play in regulation.
Saturday, the Mats are headed to Phoenix to take on GateWay Community College. Kick-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Arizona Western College is one of the top community colleges in Arizona. The college boasts partnerships with all three state universities that include face-to-face classes in Yuma.