It took two minutes for Salpointe Catholic to score.
Arturo Vega launched a free kick at Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep’s goalie, and on the deflection, teammate Christian Cabello-Garcia was there.
“I gave it a little touch,” Cabello-Garcia said, “and it went in.”
That was February 2012 at Campo Verde High School in Gilbert, and his goal was the first in the Lancers’ 3-0 win for the boys soccer state title. Cabello-Garcia was injured on the next play and missed the rest of the game, but he returned in 2013 — as did Vega — and the Lancers beat Glendale Apollo 2-0 for a second state title.
The duo is still playing soccer together — now for Pima College. But they will never forget their time as Lancers.
“It was difficult to get to those two state championships,” Cabello-Garcia said, “but we were fortunate to have the teams we played with. We had some great players and we’ve known each other for such a long time, so that made it even more special since we had the same club coach, the same high school coach. So, I mean, seeing us achieve such great success there was definitely special for us.”
Vega and Cabello-Garcia — the 2013 and 2012 Star soccer players of the year, respectively — have moved on from playing for longtime Salpointe coach Wolfgang Weber to playing for longtime Pima College coach Dave Cosgrove.
With Cabello-Garcia and Vega as its midfielders the Aztecs are 5-4, and are coming off a 4-1 win over Scottsdale on Saturday that broke a three-game losing streak.
Cabello-Garcia has two assists in seven games. Vega has four goals and an assist in nine games.
Monday, the Star spoke with Cabello-Garcia, whose Aztecs face Glendale at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Kino Stadium Complex.
Why did you decide to play soccer at Pima?
A: I’ve known (head coach Dave) Cosgrove for a really long time. I trust him. I’ve known him since I’ve been about 6 years old and he’s been a coach of mine for as long as I can remember. I mean, playing for him wasn’t a hard decision. If I was going to be playing for any junior college, it was going to be Pima.
You talked with the University of Portland about possibly playing there out of high school. What happened?
A: Financially, it was a little bit too much. As of now I’m gonna play my two years here, then hopefully move on to a Division I school. But, for now, I’m just focused on playing my best at Pima.”
What’s it like to be back playing with Arturo Vega after all the success you guys had at Salpointe?
A: I’ve known him since we were 5 years old and we’ve been playing soccer since we were 5 years old together. He’s my best friend; he’s a brother of mine. Being on the field with him just makes the team special because we have that chemistry, we have that knowledge of how to play together.
What’s the difference playing for Wolfgang Weber and playing for Dave Cosgrove?
A: They have somewhat different styles of play. Wolfgang is more relaxed. They both push you to the limit and expect the best from you. Wolfgang is more direct, more forward. Cosgrove is about keeping possession, we can switch the point of play, a lot of defending, a lot of team defending. We attack with everybody and we defend with everybody.
• In football, Pima will play Glendale on Saturday at Tucson High. Normally, they play at Kino Stadium, but it is unavailable because of the 27th annual Tucson Beer Festival.
Saturday, the Aztecs lost at Scottsdale 35-28, dropping the Aztecs to 2-3. Pima quarterbacks Jack Nykaza and Tyler D’Amore each had two rushing scores in the loss.
• In women’s soccer, Pima (4-5-1) lost to Scottsdale CC 3-0 on Saturday.
• In women’s volleyball, the Aztecs won two of three matchups over the weekend in the San Diego City College Tournament, but lost in the semifinals to Scottsdal. Libero Courtney Pitts (Catalina) was named to the all-tournament team.