Kametani, Cooper and Romero net goals as Aztecs men's soccer beats Illinois Central College

Sophomore Chris Cooper (University HS) was one of three goal scorers for the No. 8 seeded Aztecs as they opened NJCAA Division I Tournament play with a 3-1 win over No. 12 seeded Illinois Central College. Aztecs play No. 1 St. Louis Community College tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. Photo by Ben Carbajal
Sophomore Chris Cooper (University HS) was one of three goal scorers for the No. 8 seeded Aztecs as they opened NJCAA Division I Tournament play with a 3-1 win over No. 12 seeded Illinois Central College. Aztecs play No. 1 St. Louis Community College tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. Photo by Ben Carbajal

The Pima Community College men's soccer team (18-4-3) played its first game at the NJCAA Division I National Tournament on Tuesday at Mountain Valley Field in Prescott.

The No. 8 seed Aztecs dismantled No. 12 seed Illinois Central College 3-1 in Pool A play.

The Aztecs looked to be the sharper team from the get-go as they created opportunities in the early minutes. Freshman Hugo Kametani scored from 12-yards out on the left side of the net with an assist from freshman Daisuke Takanaka in the 22nd minute.

The Aztecs went up 2-0 in the 32nd minute when sophomore Chris Cooper (University HS) scored from 16-yards out with an assist from Kametani. The Aztecs held the Cougars to just one shot for the first half and led 2-0 at the break.

Freshman goalkeeper David Silva had a couple of saves early in the second half to keep Illinois Central scoreless. The Aztecs added to their lead when freshman Jose Romero scored with an assist from sophomore Julian Gaona (Tucson HS).

The Cougars got on the board in the 85th minute with a goal from Nikola Vujicic.

Silva finished the game with five saves; all in the second half.

The Aztecs will play No. 1 seed St. Louis Community College on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. The winner will advance to the NJCAA Tournament semifinal round. Catch the game on NJCAATV

Pima goals: Hugo Kametani (Daisuke Takanaka) 22nd minute; Chris Cooper (Kametani) 32nd minute; Jose Romero (Julian Gaona) 62nd minute.