The Yavapai College soccer team beat Arizona Western to won the NJCAA Region I title on Oct. 27, 2012, at the Prescott Valley Amphitheater, after winning the semi-final match on Oct. 25 over Pima. Photos by Cheryl Hartz.
The Yavapai College soccer team kept the program's unbeaten streak - 47 straight - at Prescott Valley's Amphitheater alive and won a 20th NJCAA Region I Championship in the process Saturday night. The Roughriders ousted Arizona Western College 1-0, to advance to the District Finals at Western Wyoming College this Friday and Saturday in Rock Springs, Wyo.
The Roughriders beat Pima College 5-2 in Thursday's semifinal. Kyle Morris scored the first two goals for Yavapai, assisted by Julien Dragomir and Jonathan Grant. In the second half, Alex Harlley found the net with help from Dragomir and Eddie Jasso. Dragomir iced with two more goals, with Harlley helping on both.
Saturday, Daniel Sellitti played all 90 minutes in goal and shut out Arizona Western.
The Matadors never got off a shot in the first half, while Yavapai attempted 17 shots on goal. The Roughriders ultimately outshot the visitors 29-7.
Harlley scored the lone goal in the game's fifth minute, again with Dragomir's assistance. Harlley also earned the tournament's MVP award.
Harlley said the award and championship meant a lot to him, after missing the big dance last season.
"This year was perfect," Harlley said.
He said the players voted Thursday to change the championship venue to Prescott Valley.
"This is the best surface of all the schools," he said. "Both teams have fast players, so we decided to come out and play hard on the best field and see who's the best."
Of holding Western shotless in the first half, Harlley said, "We knew if we played defense first, the attack would take care of itself."
Harlley hopes to take the Roughriders all the way to a national title before he moves on to UNLV to finish his engineering degree.
The Roughriders (21-2-0) now will meet Northwest (15-6-0) at 11 a.m. in Friday's first matchup.
District champion will advance to the NJCAA National Tournament in Albany, Georgia.
With that goal in mind, as the Roughriders celebrated their Region title Saturday night, Ray Charles' "Georgia on My Mind," played over the loudspeaker.