Gaona's golden goal in overtime sends Aztecs men's soccer to NJCAA Tournament

Sophomore Julian Gaona scored the golden goal in the 98th minute as the No. 8 ranked Aztecs beat Otero Junior College 2-1 in the NJCAA District I Semifinals. The Aztecs play the District finals on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. They also punched their ticket to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament. Photo by Ben Carbajal.
Sophomore Julian Gaona scored the golden goal in the 98th minute as the No. 8 ranked Aztecs beat Otero Junior College 2-1 in the NJCAA District I Semifinals. The Aztecs play the District finals on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. They also punched their ticket to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament. Photo by Ben Carbajal.

The Pima Community College men's soccer team (17-3-3) advanced in the District I Tournament and punched its ticket to the NJCAA Division I Tournament.

The No. 8 ranked Aztecs defeated Otero Junior College (10-6-2) 2-1 when sophomore Julian Gaona (Tucson HS) scored from 10 yards out with 1:34 left in the first overtime (98th minute). Fellow sophomore Chris Cooper (University HS) had the assist.

The Aztecs and the Rattlers played over 85 minutes of scoreless soccer. The Aztecs scored with 4:21 left in the game when Cooper hit a shot in the box that was assisted by Gaona and sophomore AJ Valenzuela (Desert View HS).

The Rattlers responded and tied the game at 1-1 with a little over two and a half minutes left (87th minute) to force extra play.

The Aztecs oushot the Rattlers 23-14 for the game and freshman goalkeeper David Silva finished with two saves.

The Aztecs play the winner of the other semifinal game between Yavapai College and Snow College in the NJCAA District I Tournament finals on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at Ken Lindley Field in Prescott.

The NJCAA Division I National Tournament is from Nov. 13-18 in Prescott, AZ.

Pima goals: Chris Cooper (Julian Gaona, AJ Valenzuela) 85th minute; Gaona (Cooper) 98th minute.