By: Joe Jacquez
With the Region I playoff tournament quickly approaching, every game is important for both Mesa T-Birds Men’s and Women’s soccer if they hope to make the playoffs.
After a loss to Cochise, Women’s head coach, Drew Guarneri, said that his team simply had to win out and play consistent soccer to make the Region I tournament.
After routing Glendale 5-1 last Thursday at John D. Riggs Stadium, the Women’s team took another giant step toward making the playoffs, beating No. 2 Chandler-Gilbert 1-0 on the road.
With the win, Mesa improved to 8-5-5, which is good for No. 6 in the ACCAC standings, the final playoff spot. The T-Birds are right ahead of Phoenix at 9-6-4, and Cochise at 8-8-2.
Sophomore Tawsi Rohner scored the only goal of the game in the 24th minute of the first half. It was her seventh goal of the season.
After that, it was a defensive struggle between both teams, and the T-Birds defense took over. They blanked the Coyotes for MCC’s seventh shutout of the season. Goalie Danielle Torres continued to impress, making five saves.
Chandler-Gilbert actually had more shots on goal in this game, with 12 compared to 10 for Mesa, but the T-Birds capitalized on the one opportunity that mattered.
The T-Birds have beaten the Coyotes twice this season, and both of them were shutouts.
Mesa has two tough games remaining to close out the regular season. Mesa closes out the regular season Oct. 25 at Paradise Valley.
Meanwhile, the Men’s team also took on Chandler-Gilbert in an important game for both teams. The T-Birds need the win to keep their chances high of making the Region I Playoffs.
After a loss to No. 14 Glendale last Thursday, the T-Birds were looking to rebound and get back to winning, which at this point in the season is all that matters.
They did beat Chandler-Gilbert 1-0, and with the win, Mesa improved to 10-8; they still occupy the No. 6 spot in the ACCAC.
If the season ended today, the T-birds record would be good enough for a playoff berth. The Coyotes sit directly behind Mesa at 8-9-1. The T-Birds now have 30 points on the year, compared with 25 for the Coyotes.
Ignacio Rios picked a great time to score his third goal of the season. It was the only score the T-Birds needed to pick up their most important win of the season.
Goalie Carlos Becerra made a record of the shutout, MCC’s fifth of the year.
They close out the regular season at Paradise Valley on Oct. 25.