Takanaka scores two goals as Aztecs men's soccer advances to NJCAA Tourney semifinals

Freshman Daisuke Takanaka scored two goals for the Aztecs as they beat No. 1 seeded St. Louis Community College 3-1 to advance to the national semifinals on Friday. Photo by Ben Carbajal.
Freshman Daisuke Takanaka scored two goals for the Aztecs as they beat No. 1 seeded St. Louis Community College 3-1 to advance to the national semifinals on Friday. Photo by Ben Carbajal.

The Pima Community College men's soccer team (19-4-3) has earned a spot in the NJCAA National Tournament semifinals after beating St. Louis Community College on Wednesday at Mountain Valley Field.

The No. 8 seeded Aztecs defeated the No. 1 seeded Archers 3-1 handing them their first loss of the season (23-1-0).

Freshman Daisuke Takanaka scored two goals for the Aztecs. He scored his first goal in the 22nd minute off a header after sophomore Julian Gaona (Tucson HS) provided the cross pass assist. Takanaka hit a shot from 18 yards out from the left side of the goal in the 59th minute to make it 2-0.

Freshman Hugo Kametani provided more insurance when he scored in the 72nd minute on a 16-yard shot. Freshman Luis Gonzalez (Amphitheater HS) had the assist to make it 3-0.

The primary defensive backfield of sophomore Kevin Perez and freshmen Jacob Pacheco, Kaskile Zawadi (Cholla HS) and Jose Irra (Barry Goldwater HS) held the Archers scoreless for over 85 minutes. The Archers got on the board with a goal from Connor McArthur in the 87th minute.

"Our (ACCAC) conference prepared us for this game," Pima head coach David Cosgrove said. "We battled and stayed organized and the effort the back-four and AJ (Valenzuela) supporting them was fantastic. They were really disciplined and handled the physicality really well.

"A couple great goals from Daisuke (Takanaka). He works hard and is under-appreciated. His first goal was fantastic and it set the tone. They've (St. Louis) been good all year long and we put the pressure on them."

Freshman goalkeeper David Silva also came through again in the second half as he finished with four saves in the half and five for the game.

The Aztecs will play in the semifinal round on Friday. Check pimaaztecs.com this evening for schedule updates.

Pima goals: Daisuke Takanaka (Julian Gaona) 22nd minute; Takanaka 59th minute; Hugo Kametani (Luis Gonzalez) 72nd minute.