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The Hilltopper boys soccer team showed up in the second half with a vengeance.
A solitary goal at 30 minutes off a corner kick by Davis Anson, assisted by Nicholas Castano, was all Los Alamos had to show for their early efforts.
When it was all over Tuesday Los Alamos had a 5-0 district victory on the road over Bernalillo.
“We didn’t play very well in the first half,” said the team’s head coach Even Gartz. “We planned to beat them handily and only got one goal in first half. We had a good talk at half time and got four goals in 15 minutes.”
Gartz said the Bernalillo game brings out the competitive spirit in his team.
“We want to play well against them,” he said. “Talent-wise, we’re a little bit better, but we always have the feeling that our district competitors are coming after us.”
Especially after last week’s hot start against Albuquerque High, when Los Alamos scored three goals in the first eight minutes, the team was looking for another quick strike.
When that wasn’t realized, Gartz had a few words for the team at the half.
“They knew what they needed to get done,” Gartz said. “We stressed doing the little things well. We want to be the ones that play blue-collar soccer, who get to the ball first, and challenge the ones in the air and hopefully get the second ball.”
The message seemed to get across.
Three minutes into the second half, David Wyman scored, assisted by Andy Thoma. Two minutes after that the team scored again. Wyman ended with three goals for the match. Daniel Rodriguez added another.
Anson had two assists in the second half. Rodriguez and Thoma had one apiece.
“It was nice to see that,” said Gartz. “We knew we were the better team and by doing the little things, the results came.”
The victory improved the team’s record to 8-4 on the year with a 3-0 record in District 2AAAA, putting them in a tie for first place with Santa Fe’s Capital High, which is 2-0 in the district and 10-1 over all.
Bernalillo with a 2-8 record, fell to 0-1 on the year, now in last place for the district.
Santa Fe and Capital High will have their first showdown of the year in Los Alamos on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Sullivan Field. But first the Los Alamos boys will have to get past Piedra Vista in Farmington on Friday.
“They’re a good team,” said Gartz. “We played them in our tournament and beat them 4-3, but we made a lot of mistakes. I want to do quite a bit better and I think we can.”
He said the team would work on speed and controlling passes this week. A team goal is to go undefeated in district and an even more challenging goal is to keep the opponents from scoring.
“We haven’t been scored on yet in district,” Gartz said.