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Boy’s soccer wins district opener

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By Phil Scherer

It may not have been as easy as the team hoped, but the Los Alamos High School varsity boy’s soccer team began district play with a 2-1 win over Del Norte High School.

It appeared the game would go smoothly for the Hilltoppers when Tristan Semelsberger scored in the second minute to put the team up 1-0. He dribbled through five defenders straight down the middle of the field and snuck a shot past the goalkeeper before he even had a chance to react.

In the following minutes, the Hilltoppers missed out on a number of opportunities to add onto their lead, as Arthur Steinkamp narrowly missed on two shots, though the team maintained good pressure.

Del Norte was able to tie the score in the 24th minute off of a direct kick from 25 yards out. The ball snuck over the outstretched reach of LAHS goalkeeper Cid Rice and into the top corner to make the score 1-1.

The Hilltoppers did not let the goal change their game plan, as they went right back to dominating possession after the goal.

It paid off in the 37th minute as they took back the lead thanks to Semelsberger. The Hilltoppers were given a free kick right outside the penalty area when the Del Norte defenders got too aggressive against the LAHS forwards. On the free kick, Runde chipped the ball to Semelsberger, who buried the ball in the bottom corner of the net without a challenge.

His second goal of the game gave LAHS a 2-1 lead, which ended up being the final score.

In the second half, the Hilltoppers were forced to put freshman goalkeeper Jaxson Martines in the game for Rice, who was needed to play the field after defender Kye Jones sustained an injury.

Martines came up with a number of big stops in the second half that kept his team in front, including a pair of close calls that missed the goal by inches.

Though both teams had chances to score in the second half, neither was able to convert, allowing the Hilltoppers to walk away with a victory in their first home game in nearly a month.

With the win, the Hilltoppers are now 11-4 this season, and 1-0 in district play. They will now prepare to take on Capital High School on the road this Saturday at 3 p.m. as district play, and the road toward the state tournament, continues.