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Roughriders Soccer Achieves Program Win Number 600 In Blowout

17 September 2017  
Roughriders freshman attacker Jose Perez Flores (left) congraulates William Baynham (right) after scoring a goal in the first half against Mesa Community College on Saturday, September 16th, in Mesa, Arizona. All Photos by: Torrence Dunham

Eight Roughrider Goals Sends Yavapai College Soccer to 600th Program Win and ACCAC First Place Spot

MESA, Ariz- The Yavapai College Roughriders soccer team tied Phoenix College 1-1 at home Thursday, September 14th, putting off program win #600 for a couple more days. It didn’t take long for the Roughriders to take control of the game against Mesa Community College Saturday, September 16th, with four goals in the first 20 minutes of the game in route to an 8-0 victory and program win #600 at John D. Riggs Stadium in Mesa, Arizona.

Roughriders soccer head coach Michael Pantalione started the team in 1989 and the program has since gone on to win seven NJCAA National Championships out of 13 appearances with the nation’s best winning percentage of over .900. The 600th program win adds another bullet point to the long list of achievements in Roughrider soccer history.

“It’s an honor for the players that have been associated with this program both past and present,” said Pantalione, mentioning that 497 athletes have suited up in the green and gold throughout the years. “They represented the school, the program and themselves very well throughout the process both on and off the field.”

“There is no magical formulas, it’s all about hard work,” Pantalione continued.

The hard work the program is known for showed up Saturday as it only took a few seconds after the start of the game for Yavapai College to crack scoreboard on a goal from John Scearce, assisted by Ricardo Nunez-Arellano.

Over the next 44 minutes, the Roughriders would add three more goals to take a commanding 4-0 lead into halftime. Jose Perez Flores notched two goals and one assist while William Baynham assisted one of Flores’ goals and scored a goal of his own.

Four goals in the first half was a quick turnaround for Yavapai College as the team scored its only goal of the night in the 67th minute during the tie against Phoenix College.

“Guys were ready to play from the outset,” Pantalione said. “We made some slight adjustments entering this match and it obviously paid dived ends.”

Yavapai College kept their foot on the gas following halftime as Carlo Quesada, who had an assist in the first half, scored back-to-back goals in the 50th and 51st minute. The Roughriders continued to pile on late in the game with goals from Lorenzo Macias and Ziyad Fares.

“We were just trying to be composed and trying to keep possession most of the time,” Flores said. “We knew that if we came out here and pressed them, we would be able to get opportunities. They (opportunities) came to us and we did our best and made the most of them.”

Following the game, the players took a picture signifying the milestone victory. It was a bit of déjà vu as the Roughriders won their 500th career victory at John D. Riggs Stadium in September of 2012.

“We’ve had some magical moments here over the years,” said Pantalione, recalling Yavapai College’s 6-0 win over the then nationally ranked St. Louis Community College-Forest Park in 1999 with John D. Riggs Stadium serving as a neutral home to that match. “This particular venue has been good to us over the years.”

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Along with the milestone, the victory also moved the Roughriders into sole possession of first place in the ACCAC as well as remaining undefeated on the season.

Yavapai College Roughriders (8-0-2, 6-0-2 ACCAC) stay on the road for a matchup with Arizona Western College in Yuma on Tuesday, September 19th, at 7:00 pm.