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AWC's Dale named ACCAC/Region I Men's Soccer Coach of the Year
 October 23, 2012


Record number of conference wins for Matadors wraps up award for AWC Head Coach for first time ever

Yuma, Arizona – October 23, 2012 -- Arizona Western College is proud to announce that AWC Head Men’s Soccer Coach Kenny Dale has been named as the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference/Region I Men’s Soccer Coach of the Year.  Dale earns the accolade for the first time in his eight-year tenure as the head coach of the program, and gets the honor at the same time as his Matador Soccer team clinched a share of the ACCAC Regular Season title for only the second time in the program’s history, and his top player, midfielder Erik Luzanilla, was named ACCAC Men’s Soccer Player of the Year.  The announcements come following the conclusion of the ACCAC postseason coaches’ meetings in Phoenix.                           

Matador fans probably did a double-take when they discovered that this is the first time that Dale has achieved this honor, considering what he has done to advance the program since he first accepted the job back in 2005.  Dale has won nearly 2/3 of his matches since becoming the program’s first-ever full-time head soccer coach, sporting an overall coaching record of 109 wins (an average of nearly 14 wins per season), 48 losses and 9 ties (a .657 winning percentage) in his eight years.  The climb to consistent success has been a gradual one, which is just the way Dale likes it.  He led his first two AWC teams (in ’05 & ’06) to the Region I Playoffs (the program’s first trips to the postseason since 1999) with 10- & 13-win seasons, respectively, and has only missed the postseason once since that time.  Since 2009, the team has won no less than 16 matches, has advanced to the Region I Semifinals or further each year, and has set new records each season.   Their first trip to the Region I Finals was in ’09, when they set a new standard for overall wins in a season with 16.  A year later, they broke that wins record with an 18-win season, capped off by their first-ever ACCAC Regular Season title and Region I Championship.  Last year, while reaching the Region I Semifinals again, the squad recorded a new standard for conference wins (and fewest overall losses in a season) with a 16-3-2 record. 

This year, they have already matched the team record for overall wins, and set a new standard for conference wins in a season with an overall/conference record of 18 wins and 2 losses.  The team is 2nd in the ACCAC in both offense (77 goals scored) and defense (21 goals allowed), and Dale has taken a team that sported only 5 returning starters going into the season and brought out the maturity and talent from both the sophomores and freshmen.  “We’re extremely proud of Coach Dale and the soccer team for their co-conference championship, and the level of play displayed throughout the soccer season,” said the man who hired Dale eight years ago, AWC Athletic Director Jerry Smith.  “This is an extremely talented squad of players-with not only great ability but outstanding character, and that is a direct reflection of what Kenny has brought to the soccer program, to our athletic program, and to Arizona Western College as a whole.  He’s been a great asset to us, and this award shows that people elsewhere are starting to realize it, too.” 

Dale & the 2nd-seeded Matadors will go for record-setting win #19 this Thursday night, October 25th, as they host the Region I Division I Men’s Soccer Semifinals against either 3rd-seeded Chandler-Gilbert Community College or 6th-seeded Paradise Valley Community College (who face each other tonight in Chandler at the Region I Quarterfinals).  Kickoff is scheduled for 6PM Thursday at the AWC Soccer Field (2020 South Avenue 8E in Yuma).  Under Region I Playoff rules, no passes are allowed, so admission prices for Thursday’s match are $5 for all adults and $3 for AWC & NAU-Yuma students.  If the Matadors are able to win the Region I Semifinal match, they’ll advance to the Region I Finals on Saturday, which will be held in Prescott (if top-seeded Yavapai wins their semifinal match Thursday) or in Yuma.  Details on that match will be announced as the teams are determined.  

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