The Mesa Community College Sophomore Girls Soccer Team finished their season October 20, 2016. They finished in 8th place and did not make the playoffs.Coach Andrew Guarneri said, “We had some injuries on key players like midfielder Emily Lynch that affected us at the beginning of the season.” Even though they played very well at home, there were some away games in which the Thunderbirds deserved the win but could not clinch it. “The Gateway game (1-1) was a game that really affected us in the rankings, we played very good soccer and had the most chances, but we came home with a tie,” Guarneri said.
Those points never come back and with a win at the Gateway game the Thunderbirds would had made the playoffs. “Some girls are very good and have a very good attitude in trainings and at the game, but I think we are not making the playoffs because there are some players that do not keep their attitude until the game is finished, that is why other teams had tied us or beat us at the last minutes and those lost points would had qualified us,” said defensive player Maia Gajate. Finishing only two spots behind the playoffs is not what the players and Guarneri wanted, but the season left some other good stuff behind which gives the team hope for the next tournament.
“Some sophomores are leaving the team for the next season but we have other freshmen that acquired experience and will be very helpful for the team in the upcoming season,” said midfielder Lynch. As far as next season goes, recruitment has already started. Coach Guarneri said, “We are trying to recruit the best from high schools, but it is hard for a two-year school to compete against offers from four-year schools.” However Guarneri’s goals are to get the team to the play-playoffs, but also to teach them values and become better persons after they complete the program.
“I focus on teaching my players to have more attitude, to be responsible and respectful in any situation they go through life,” said Guarneri.“I always tell the parents that I want their kids to graduate before anything else, I think that is the most important thing I should focus on,” he added.Thunderbirds Women’s Soccer Team played 20 games this season. The team said good memories stay with them. The plan for next year is to bring the title home to MCC.