’Toppers win but can’t find rhythm

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By Mike Cote

The biggest competition the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team might be up against this season is itself.
Hosting its second District 2-4A contest of the season, Los Alamos earned a 5-0 victory, but the overall performance fell well short of the standard the team had set for itself at the onset of its current 5-game win streak.
Being the undisputed favorite in district this season, it’s not hard to understand why the Hilltoppers would find it hard to get psyched about a district contest — they haven’t dropped a 2-4A game in nearly six years — but their head coach, Jiri Kubicek, said he saw the same type of play out of his team when it was derailed by St. Pius X early in September.
“That was not a team that’s ranked No. 1,” Kubicek said of Los Alamos after Saturday’s win at Sullivan Field against Santa Fe (3-10, 0-10 in 2-4A), the only district team that has an inkling of hope of ending the Hilltoppers’ win streak. “They looked like a team that didn’t want to be here. You can’t overlook anybody. This is what we looked like when we played St. Pius. We win a couple of games and we start thinking how great we are. We’ve got to show up every game.”
Los Alamos (10-1, 2-0) looked lethargic for much of the contest and didn’t move well without the ball Saturday.
Amy Neal scored a pair of goals early in the contest, one off an assist by Katelyn Leslie and the other assisted by Julia Haagenstaad, to give Los Alamos a 2-0 lead nine minutes into the game, but there were few offensive fireworks beyond those two early goals.
Jordan Ahlers scored midway through the first half to up Los Alamos’ lead to 3-0. In the second half, however, Los Alamos barely attacked the Santa Fe goal, getting off only two shots.
On the other side, Santa Fe managed just one shot-on-goal that was easily picked up by Bryce Theesfeld.
Although Los Alamos didn’t need any help from the Demons to secure the victory, the Hilltoppers got some anyway. The Demons couldn’t handle a Chandler Art corner kick, then punched in a clean own-goal in the 67th minute with a Santa Fe defender booting a ball straight into the Demon net.
Los Alamos has two much stiffer tests this week, playing two of the top Class 5A teams in the state, Volcano Vista and La Cueva.