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Roughriders Soccer Win Secures Playoff Spot, First Round Bye

18 October 2017  
Roughriders' sophomore defender Ricardo Nunez-Arellano celebrates his second of the night with his fellow teammates during a game against Arizona Western College on Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 in Prescott, Arizona All Photos by: Torrence Dunham

Roughriders Soccer Win Against Arizona Western College Secures A First Round Bye and Semi-Final Home-Field Advantage In NJCAA Division One Region Playoffs

PRESCOTT- The NJCAA #7 ranked Yavapai College Roughriders soccer team beat #14 ranked Arizona Western College 6-1 at Ken Lindley Field, Tuesday night, October 17th, and secured a first-round bye in the NJCAA Region 1 Playoffs and a semi-final home game against an opponent to-be-determined next week.

“It was very important to get the victory to avoid that play-in game next Monday and to secure home-field advantage for next Wednesday,” Roughriders head coach Michael Pantalione said.

The Roughriders jumped on Arizona Western College quickly, scoring two goals in the first fifteen minutes of play. Ricardo Nunez-Arellano opened the scoring in the 7th minute on an assist from John Scearce. Six minutes later, Scearce would add a goal of his own on a pass from Jose Perez Flores.

“We started strong and that’s what we wanted to do,” Roughrider freshman attacker William Baynham said. “That’s something this season that we lacked at times in big games. If we do that (start strong) from now on in, hopefully, it will see us be successful.”

Arizona Western College would score their only goal of the game in the 23rd minute but Yavapai College continued to pad the lead throughout the game. Angel Lujan and Baynham added goals in the first half, while Matt Jordan and Nunez-Arellano each picked up a score in the second half.

“It was extremely important we come out aggressive right away, trying to put them on their heels throughout the first half,” Pantalione said. “I think we did a very good job in following that plan.”

Pantalione was able to utilize each of the 25 players on the roster.

The win provides a rebound for the Roughriders after falling to their last ranked opponent Phoenix College 5-0, who was ranked #14 at the time, on the road Thursday, October 5th.

“The last time we played a team at that sort of level on a national basis was down in Phoenix College where we got beat pretty handily,” Pantalione said. “It was important to come out strong and hopefully a good momentum carrier into the postseason.”

Yavapai College soccer finishes the regular season on the road, Thursday, October 19th, at 3 pm against Scottsdale Community College. Following the game on Thursday, the Roughriders will play at Ken Lindley Field in the semi-finals against a to-be-determined opponent on Wednesday, October 25th, at 6:00 pm.