By Hector Ibanez
The Glendale Community College Men’s soccer season is in full swing. After finishing 11-8-2 a year ago, they opened the 2014 campaign by defeating Chandler-Gilbert Community College Coyotes 1-0 on August 23.
In that game, it was all defense for both clubs the Gauchos and Coyotes were held scoreless in the first 45 minutes. In the seventy-second minute, Isidro Jimenez, center, was penalized with a yellow card. It wasn’t until the closing moments of the match that Glendale’s Erik Venegas scored the game-winning shot by a header of a corner kick.
Glendale Community College finished the game with three shots on goal, and three saves.
The Gauchos fell short of their goal a season ago as they lost in the regional playoffs to the Arizona Western College Matadors 1-0. Glendale Community College will be sure to improve on their results this time around.
“We made the playoffs last season as we finished 5th in conference last season and traveled to Yuma to play Arizona Western and lost a tough 1-0 game as they scored with 20 minutes left in the game.” Said head coach Dan Littlefield. “It is our expectation every year to compete for a place in the regional tournament, and this year’s team certainly came into preseason with that mindset. We were very selective in building the team paying particular attention to finding players that are motivated to work hard and fight for the team. So far, that approach is working as all of the players have shown great focus, determination, and unity in trying to achieve our goals.”
In their second match, the Gauchos were paired up against the Paradise Valley Community College Pumas. A defensive struggle ensued which resulted the game end in a 0-0 tie.
During the 2013 season, the Gauchos were able to put together a five-game winning streak that lasted from October 8-19. Those victories came against South Mountain Community College (2-0), Paradise Valley Community College (3-0), Scottsdale Community College (1-0), Mesa Community College (2-1), and Gateway Community College (2-0).
The 2014 Gauchos are young squad that is eager to learn and get better.
“We return nine second-year players for the 2014 season. They are all players who bring ability, experience, and confidence.” Said coach Littlefield. “The expectation is that they will set the tone for the season and serve as an example for the players who are new to our conference.”
The next game for Glendale will be Thursday, September 4 against Pima Community College at 4:40 pm.