Scottsdale Community College soccer launches new campaign

All-American Sydney Evans returns to Women’s lineup


Ole Olafson

SCC soccer have begun practicing in earnest leading up to Friday’s exhibition game.

Ole Olafson, Reporter

Like morning dew on a newly cut pitch, the Scottsdale Community College soccer teams begin their fresh, new seasons on Aug. 12.

The 2022-23 campaign kicks off with a slate of three exhibition games.

Even though the preseason contests don’t impact the outcome of the season, they are valuable to the coaching staff.

“A lot of it will be working with the chemistry of the group – getting the players together, seeing what we have available to us in terms of talent and ability, and then meshing that moving forward, into what will be our overall game model and approach to playing,” Head Coach Tom Hurdle said.

“The other piece is also conditioning,” added Associate Head Coach Jack Soutar.  “Exhibition matches gets them conditioned to match fitness, which is very different than practice fitness.”

High expectations for Women’s team

The Ladies side at SCC enjoyed another successful season last year, finishing 10-3-2 and running deep into the playoffs.

The highly anticipated return of All-American forward Sydney Evans, who was injured in the first game last season, should only improve the team’s chances of another stellar season.

“Two years in a row, we’ve lost in the region semifinal to Pima.  First year was in P.K.’s (penalty kicks).  Second year was with 60 seconds left in double overtime.  Pima then went on to compete in the National Championship game,” Hurdle recalled.  “So we feel like we’re right there.”

Hurdle had simple answers to complicated questions — explaining why the Ladies team is so successful and how they plan to carry that momentum into another season.

“We had a very good core group of players with some very good attacking talent…most of whom are returning this year,” Hurdle said.  “Our mindset this year is to be better than yesterday, and the accumulation of that hopefully will realize even going further”.

Men’s team focusing on intangibles

The Men had a bit of a rough go of it last season, winding up 4-7-2 and missing the playoffs.

Once again, Hurdle has a practical solution to overcome the obstacles facing the team.

“The biggest focus for us this year has been on the character of the players that we bring in.  Fitting the environment that we are trying to create – the culture we are trying to create – hard working mentality — buy in – and overall, just kind of being good, committed people to what we are doing,” Hurdle said.  “We had a good team last year — we were just missing those chemistry pieces.”

“Making sure you have the right characters…off the field, as well as on the field can make you successful,” Soutar agreed.

It matters where you play

When MCCCD decided to eliminate football across the district, the soccer program became the unwitting beneficiary of the controversial decision.

The teams wound up inheriting the well-lit facility as well as the advantages that playing in a spacious stadium bring.

Hurdle explained that playing in the stadium allows SCC to have games at night.  Temperatures after sunset are lower and allow athletes to compete at a higher level and also brings more people to the games.

“We talked about it as a team this morning – making our community proud of who we are on the field – who we are off the field — and the way we play.  Giving them a show is what we want to do – entertain people,” Hurdle said. “So come out and give us a try – hopefully you’ll enjoy it and come back.”