Aztecs Men's Soccer takes lead but can't halt Morton College's rally as 2022 season closes

Sophomore Cristian Gutierrez had a goal and an assist but the No. 5 seeded Aztecs men's soccer team fell to No. 4 Morton College 3-2 in the final day of Pool D play. The Aztecs close out the season at 10-4-3 overall. Photo by Stephanie van Latum
Sophomore Cristian Gutierrez had a goal and an assist but the No. 5 seeded Aztecs men's soccer team fell to No. 4 Morton College 3-2 in the final day of Pool D play. The Aztecs close out the season at 10-4-3 overall. Photo by Stephanie van Latum

The Pima Community College men's soccer team struck first but couldn't close in the end on Wednesday in the final day of pool play at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament.

  • The No. 5 seeded Aztecs fell to No. 4 Morton College 3-2 closing Pima's 2022 season. This is the first time the Aztecs couldn't get out of pool play since playing in the Division II National Tournament. They went to the semifinals in 2020-21 and won the national championship in 2021.
  • The Aztecs jumped out to an early lead when sophomore Nicholas Bianchi (Pinnacle HS) scored in the 8th minute with an assist from fellow sophomore Cristian Gutierrez (Cholla HS).
  • Gutierrez made it 2-0 with his goal in the 14th minute with an assist from freshman Daniel Ehler (Marana HS).
  • The Panthers (18-0-1) rallied when Joao Victor Rosito scored back-to-back goals in one minute (22nd and 23rd) to tie the game. Morton College took the lead when Juan Ramirez scored with 1:06 left in the half.
  • Coach's quote: "We had a great start to the game. We made it real interesting, but Morton had a good answer. Full credit to them. They could have folded," Pima men's soccer coach David Cosgrove said. "The crowd tonight was great."
  • Freshman Cristian Sattin finished the game with four saves.
  • The Aztecs close out the 2022 season at 10-4-3 overall and 6-2-2 in ACCAC conference play. The Aztecs didn't lose at the West Campus Aztec Field as they went 3-0-2 and scored 48 goals on the season.

Coach's quote: "We were just a little off this season. We played well at times but all the little stuff didn't go our way this year," Cosgrove said. "The players never stopped and I thought our last game was indicative of our season. Lots of really good things but just couldn't get over the hump."