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It was tough to know for certain at the beginning of the year, but the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team felt like, with some games under its belt, it might be able to put things together come playoff time.
The way the Hilltoppers have played the last game-plus, that may indeed be the case.
For the second game in a row, the Hilltoppers played a dominant second half at Sullivan Field. The Hilltoppers scored three times in the final 40 minutes, twice by Catie McDonald off of assists from Meghan McDonald, to top the Piedra Vista Panthers 4-0.
With just two games remaining in the regular season, head coach Jiri Kubiceksaid his team is in a groove right now.
“The girls responded well, they played well,” Kubicek said. “They look like a group that’s on a mission.”
Los Alamos (8-10) has already assured itself of a playoff spot, but has to keep one eye on possible seeding for the playoffs — the seeding will be announced next Sunday. The big win over Piedra Vista (9-7) should only boost Los Alamos’ stock.
The Hilltoppers and the Panthers were voted Nos. 5 and 6 in last week’s coaches poll. While the Hilltoppers may not have the credentials to sneak into a top-four seed and get the first-round bye that comes with it, Kubicek said their chances for picking up a 5 or 6 seed are very good.
Catie McDonald had a pair of goals and earned assists on the other two goals. Her first half corner kick went straight to Kristin Funsten in the 34th minute, who put the chance away.
On defense, Los Alamos’ Stephanie Blair had a solid game, as usual, turning away most of the Panthers’ few offensive chances. The Panthers finished with just two shots-on-goal.
Blair also headed in a crossing pass from Catie McDonald in the 55th minute, giving the Hilltoppers a 3-0 edge at the time. McDonald scored in the 76th minute after a nice run down the sideline by Meghan McDonald.
It was Los Alamos’ fourth win in a row. Los Alamos has allowed just one goal in those four games.
“That was a good win, a solid win,” Kubicek said. “Stephanie had a great game in the back, Meghan and Kristin in the middle, we had a good. strong showing up front. It was a whole team effort.”
The Hilltoppers still have one more district game remaining, against Capital Tuesday, before its season finale, a nondistrict affair at St. Michael’s Oct. 24.
This season, Los Alamos is 7-4 against Class 4A opponents.