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Boy's soccer cruises past Taos

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By Phil Scherer

The Los Alamos High School varsity boy’s soccer team got back in the win column Tuesday afternoon, defeating Taos High School 4-0 at Sullivan Field.

There were many question marks heading into the contest, as the Hilltoppers are without their top two goalkeepers, sophomore Jacob Majors and freshman Jaxson Martines, due to injuries.

Majors broke a finger in last week’s loss against St. Pius that is expected to be the end of his season, while Martines is dealing with a dislocated finger that should allow him to return to the field in a few days.

In their absence, the team is using defensemen Alex Bullock and Cid Rice in goal, a position they both just started learning last week.

Bullock said that although it is a big adjustment for both of them, they are picking it up quickly.

“When you’re getting ready for goalkeeper, it’s just a lot of repetition,” Bullock said. “Cid and I have only been playing goal for about a week, so it’s all about getting that muscle memory down and making sure we make a good decision.”

Rice started the game in goal for the Hilltoppers, but was not forced to play an active role as LAHS controlled the possession and consistently kept the ball on the other end of the field. Rice did not face a shot on goal in the first 40 minutes.

After having a series of good scoring opportunities in the first few minutes of the game, the Hilltoppers got on the board in the 24th minute courtesy of their leading scorer Arthur Steinkamp, who received the ball close to the goal and was able to shoot it right past the keeper and into the back of the net. It was the first misplay of the game for the Taos goalkeeper, who made numerous point blank saves in the early going. LAHS led 1-0.

Steinkamp added a second goal nine minutes later off of a pass from Andreas Runde. The two of them broke free from the defense, and Steinkamp was able to sneak the ball past the outstretched arm of the goalkeeper and into the net, giving the Hilltoppers a bit of breathing room.

“Andreas can put beautiful passes wherever you want,” head coach Ron Blue said.

Bullock came into the game in goal for the Hilltoppers in the second half, and made the play of the game. In the 58th minute, Taos took a shot that bounced off the crossbar.

The rebound went straight to a Taos attacker, but Bullock was able to dive and knock the ball out of bounds with his feet, preventing Taos from getting on the scoreboard.

“That’s absolutely the save of the game,” Blue said. “Huge save for us.”

Runde made the score 3-0 in favor of the Hilltoppers in the 60th minute with his first goal of the year, putting the game away for LAHS.

But they weren’t done scoring just yet.

Six minutes later, Steinkamp picked up his third goal of the game, completing a hat trick and giving him a team-high nine goals this season.

“Arthur had an amazing game with three goals and an assist,” Blue said. “He is just phenomenal.”

The Hilltoppers cruised to a 4-0 victory.

“You can see how good we are when we are moving the ball and popping in and out,” Blue said. “We are just better when we move the ball quicker.”

Blue said he was pleased with the win, but said that they still need to improve their game to compete with the best teams in the state.

“That kind of game is not going to beat Albuquerque Academy, and that’s what I’m trying to stress to them,” Blue said.

The team is now 6-1 this season, and has outscored their opponents 24-3 so far, going 5-0 at home.

They will play seven straight road games before returning home on Sept. 30.