The Artichokes are blooming at Scottsdale Community College.
The men’s soccer program at the north Scottsdale school with the quirky mascot name has been on an upward trajectory since Adam Berry took it over several years back.
And the ‘Chokes just finished up what Berry calls “the most successful season in men’s soccer.”
Scottsdale CC lost Monday in the first round of the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC) Region I playoffs, losing 3-0 to a Pima College team that they had beaten earlier in the month.
In fact, the mid-October 2-1 win against Pima was part of a 6-1-1 record for the month that helped SCC build momentum gong into the playoffs.
And, to top it off, the ‘Chokes’ sophomore forward, Xavier Carillo, was named the Player of the Week during a three-win spurt during the week of the 11th. He scored three goals on the week, two of them in a 4-0 win over Mesa CC.
But the first-round exit hasn’t diminished what the program has accomplished the last couple of years.
The Artichokes went 12-8-0 last year, their best season to that point, and then bested that mark with a 12-6-2 record this season.
Berry, who is from Bristol, England, came on board as an assistant coach in 2005 and took over as head coach the next season. In 2008, he was named ACCAC Coach of the Year.
Pima CC (16-5) will move on to meet seven-time national champion Yavapai College in its next playoff game this afternoon in Prescott. Yavapai, which had a first-round bye, is 47-4-4 all-time against the Aztecs.
More important is their playoff performance. The Roughriders, 15-4-1 this season, have won 37 of 38 Region I playoff matches through the years. The Prescott school also has captured 19 region titles over the past 20 years.
The two teams split in games they played earlier this year, with Pima winning the first, 1-0, in Tucson and Yavapai winning in Prescott, 4-2.
Yavapai got off to a slow start this season, but come into the playoffs on a roll after winning 12 of their last 14 regular-season games.
Pima picked up a couple of other impressive honors this year. The Aztecs’ sophomore forward, Minh Vu, was named the ACCAC Player of the Year. His coach, Dave Cosgrove, was named the Coach of the Year.
(Photo: ScottsdaleCC Athletics)