On Thursday, Oct. 10, the Cochise College women’s soccer team took on South Mountain at home. The Apaches dominated the first half with ten shots compared to none for South Mountain. Freshman Maria Azarias, better known as Majhu, finally netted the first goal in the 33rd minute with a 20 yard shot off of an assist from fellow Brazilian freshman Rafaela Oliveira da Silva. Six minutes later, Majhu won the ball near midfield off a clearance by center back Kiara Villaescusa, dribbled through four defenders into the box, and finished with a left-footed shot on the far post, putting the Apaches up 2-0 going into halftime. Goalkeeper Brianna Guzman faced zero shots on goal in the first half.
After minor adjustments at the half, Cochise continued to dominate possession. The Apaches accumulated another 13 shots in the second half, netting one more goal to give them a 3-0 lead. Sophomore Breanne Huitz rounded off the scoring in the 55th minute from an assist off of sophomore Mckenna Jones. Daniela Hernandez backed the Apaches in the net in the second half with three saves to keep South Mountain scoreless.
The team traveled to Phoenix on Saturday to continue conference play against Gateway Community College. The Apaches dominated play throughout the game with more than 30 shots. Majhu started off the scoring early in the first three minutes of play off of a ball played over the top of the Gateway defense and slotted just past the Gateway goalkeeper as she came out of the goal. The Apaches went into halftime with a 1-0 lead after several close shots that hit the posts.
The Apaches scored early again right after halftime. Leticia Seabra scored off an assist from fellow sophomore Anahi Hernandez in the 50th minute of the match. In the 73rd minute, sophomore Liz Botello took a foul in the 18-yard box that led to an Apache penalty kick. The shot was taken by Maria Azarias, who netted her fourth goal in two games off the PK to put the Apaches up 3-0.
After those two wins last week, the team is on top of the ACCAC. After a 1-4 start, the Apaches are undefeated in conference play with three games remaining. They have outscored their opponents 15-4 since conference play began in mid-September. With one tie and six wins in the last seven games, the team has guaranteed themselves a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
Freshman Maria Azarias leads the Apaches with eight goals and two assists equaling 18 points. Four of those goals came in two games last week. Not far behind with 11 points is sophomore Leticia Seabra, who has four goals and three assists on the season now. The Apaches are backed by freshman goalkeeper and NJCAA Goalkeeper of the Week award winner, Brianna Guzman. Brianna has allowed only seven goals against and earned four shutouts in 11 games this season.
The Apaches will play two tough games this week with Arizona Western on Thursday, Oct. 17, and Pima Community College at home on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 3:00 p.m.
Submitted by Sharrina Cook-General, Cochise College media coordinator