After playing two scrimmages the past three weeks, the Cochise College Lady Apaches soccer team will kick off its season Thursday, Aug. 29 with a road match at Glendale Community College.
The Lady Apaches will then host Phoenix Community College this Saturday night, Aug. 31 in a 7:30 p.m. match at Douglas High School.
Coming off a season that saw the Lady Apaches finish eighth in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference with a 5-10-4 record, a coaching change was made during the off season.
According to the Cochise College website, new head coach Bobby Peters comes to Cochise with over a decade of coaching experience including club and college levels.
Before joining the Apaches, Peters was the head coach for men’s and women’s soccer teams at Northwest College. He has also been an assistant men’s coach at Missouri Valley College, and the head men’s soccer coach at East Central College.
His bio states that, “While enjoying the opportunity to coach great teams and players, his favorite part of coaching is seeing his players succeed professionally. He had a player drafted into the Major League Soccer, and players play in Puerto Rico, Spain, and Australia. He also has many former players that are now successful coaches in college, high school, and clubs all over the world. Coach Peters has a United States Soccer Federations national license.”
Peters says he’s excited about being the head coach of the Lady Apaches and is looking forward to a fun and exciting season.
Cochise has not made the post season playoffs since 2013 when they placed fourth in the conference and advanced to the second round of the Region 1 playoffs.
Peters has four players from Brazil on his roster this year and four from El Paso, Tex. Douglas High School standout goalie Brianna Guzman, who was the Gila Region’s Defensive Player of the Year in addition to being named the top female soccer player in the Sierra Vista Herald’s Best of Preps, is the only Cochise County player on the Lady Apaches roster this season.
Guzman played the entire first half of the scrimmage at goalie Saturday, recording several stops while keeping El Paso out of the net.
After the scrimmage she said she is enjoying her collegiate experience and is learning a lot.
“It’s a lot different than high school,” she said. “The players here are really good.”
Guzman likes the chemistry amongst her teammates and believes they have a good team that is capable of making it back to the postseason.
Peters said he used some of the recruiters he’s used in the past to bring in some of the players on his roster this year, including the ones from Brazil. H also has a player from England, Ghana, and Chihuahua, Mexico.
Guzman, he saw play in person and knew immediately, she had the potential to play at the collegiate level.
“I came out to watch a match here and the first player I see was Brianna then a couple of others that were juniors that I will be keeping my eye on this year,” he said.
Looking at his roster of 17 players which consists of nine freshmen and eight sophomores, Coach Peters says this team has a lot of technical ability.
“We have some players that are very athletic,” he said. “They have the skill, they have the potential, it’s just a matter of putting it all together. Every one of them is a solid player.”
The new coach says he’s gotten familiar with the ACCAC and has a good idea of the talent level.
“The first or second week I was here I went up to the All-Star game where the girls were playing,” he said. “The coach that was scheduled was late so I got thrown into coaching. I didn’t know any of the players. I got to see a majority of them. The ACCAC is a tough division. I think we can battle and be right there at the end. I think we can make the post season. It’s going to take a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work but I think we can make it.”
On Saturday, Sept. 7 the Lady Apaches will host Paradise Valley Community College in another 7:30 p.m. match at Douglas High School.