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Paradise Valley Continues Its Quest for National Soccer Title with 4-0 Victory
Nov. 18, 2013 - Paradise Valley Community College of Phoenix, AZ, continued its quest to win an NJCAA Division I women's soccer title with a 4-0 victory in Monday's opening round of the national soccer tournament at Eastern Florida State College's Melbourne Campus.
Number 20 Ashley Johnson with Paradise Valley gets the ball past St. Louis goalkeeper Apolonia Thomas for one of the defending national championship team's four goals in its first match.
For Paradise's first-year head coach Jon Ruzan the victory was another step toward the Pumas winning another title rather than defending the one they won in 2012.
"Until we had our first loss we were defending a national championship," Ruzan said. "And when we lost that game . . . credit to Scottsdale . . . after that game we went from defending a national championship to trying to just win one.
"Sometimes it's hard to fight a legacy and the players just changed their mindset and tried to win one. It's a different team. It's a whole new set of players. The coach isn't (here)."
Sophomore Erica Gonzalez got Paradise's quest off to a good start scoring the game's first goal, beating St. Louis goalkeeper Apolonia Thomas with 22:33 to play in the first half.
Sophomore Nicole Nsa made it 2-0, finding the back of the net with 8:09 to play in the opening half. Sophomore Ashley Johnson then made it 3-0 with 1:35 to go in the half to put things out of reach.
Nsa notched her second goal at the 31:29 mark of the second half for the 4-0 lead.
Nsa, who transferred to Paradise for this season, echoed Ruzan's comments on the 2013 season's mission.
"We totally combined as a team and worked as a team and worked off each other," Nsa said. "We wanted to make a statement in our first game and I think we did.
"Basically we're taking this as a whole new year. Yes we have like 12 returning players who had the opportunity to win the national championship. We want to clean the slate. This is a new team so we want a new national championship that all of us can claim for ourselves."
Second-seeded Paradise improved to 21-1-1 while 11th-seeded St. Louis fell to 15-6-2.
Paradise next plays at 1 p.m. Wednesday against seventh-seed Laramie County while St. Louis plays Laramie County at 1 p.m. Tuesday.