NJCAA National Champion Ishihara signs with Mount Mercy University

Aztecs men's soccer player Itsuki Ishihara signed his letter of intent to Mount Mercy University, an NAIA school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Ishihara was part of the 2018 NJCAA Division I National Championship team and was selected to the NJCAA Division I All-Tournament team two straight years. Photo by Chestley Strother-NJCAA Apaches Athletics
Aztecs men's soccer player Itsuki Ishihara signed his letter of intent to Mount Mercy University, an NAIA school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Ishihara was part of the 2018 NJCAA Division I National Championship team and was selected to the NJCAA Division I All-Tournament team two straight years. Photo by Chestley Strother-NJCAA Apaches Athletics

Pima Community College men's soccer player Itsuki Ishihara has found a new home where he will continue his educational and athletic endeavors for the next two years.

  • Ishihara, a midfielder from Hyogo, Japan, signed to play at Mount Mercy University, an NAIA school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Mustangs play in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.
  • "I chose Mount Mercy University because their conditions were in place and they gave me the (tools) I want to continue my career in a good environment," Ishihara said.
  • Ishihara was a two-time recipient of being named to the NJCAA Division I All-Tournament team. He was part of the 2018 NJCAA Division I National Championship team. He scored three goals during the tournament that year.
  • Ishihara helped the Aztecs get back to the national tournament this season and scored a goal and had an assist.
  • "The two years I experienced at Pima were very fruitful," Ishihara said. "I had never experienced the joy of becoming a national champion. Arguably the best thing in my life."
  • Ishihara played in 20 games this season making 18 starts. He scored 14 goals and had four assists on the season. As a freshman, he played in 27 games; making 24 starts. He scored 15 goals and had five assists.

The Aztecs went 41-6-2 in Ishihara's two years with the Aztecs.