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PCAC champion Southwestern men's soccer team qualifies for regional playoffs Phillip Brents | Thu, Nov 21 2013 01:50 PM

The Southwestern College men’s soccer team — recently crowned outright Pacific Coast Athletic Conference champions for the second consecutive year — will kick off the Southern California regional championship playoffs with a game Saturday at L.A. Harbor College.

Fourteen teams are entered in the regional tournament. Southwestern (15-3-3) is seeded 11th while L.A. Harbor (10-6-4) is seeded sixth.

All games will be played at the home site of the higher seeded team.

The Jaguars join fellow PCAC rival San Diego City (10-5-5) in the regional playoffs. The Knights are seeded 14th and will play at third-seeded Santa Ana (13-4-4) in the opening round.

Mt. San Antonio College (14-3-4) received the No. 1 seed while San Bernardino Valley College (12-3-6) is seeded second.

Second-round play is scheduled Nov. 26, followed by third round play on Nov. 30. The two semifinal winners advance to the state championship tournament Dec. 6-8.

Southwestern finished 10-0-2 in PCAC play this season.

“We work very well together, our games are very pleasing to watch,” Jags head coach Cem Tont explained. “We score a lot of goals and defend well.”

Tont said the strength of this year’s team is its versatility, with players being able to play roles as the situation demands.

“We can have seven or eight line-up changes and not struggle,” the SWC coach said. “It’s to our advantage. It keeps the team spirit alive.”

Top individuals on this year’s team include sophomore midfielder Marco Carrillo-Leon (Mar Vista) with 21 goals to his credit and freshman goalkeeper Sebastian Ortiz (Eastlake). Ortiz entered the team’s final week of regular season play with a 1.46 goals-against average.

The Jags have actually won three conference championships in a row, counting a co-championship in 2011.

Despite this team’s success, Tont prefers to look at one game at a time.

“The expectations are to win the next match,” he said. “I don’t want to give long-range goals, but we’re prepared for the playoffs. We have made the cake and now want to put as many strawberries on it as possible, with each strawberry being a playoff win; if we have the cake fully decorated, we win the championship.”

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