Boys soccer: LA, Academy meet Thursday

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By Mike Cote

It’s a rare year when Albuquerque Academy and St. Pius X aren’t both hanging around near the state boys soccer title game.
That would make 2009 an exceptionally rare year, as neither team made the championship round and only Academy got as far as the semifinals.
But for the Los Alamos Hilltoppers to get to the finals again for the second straight season, it will most likely need to go through both squads to get there.
Los Alamos, the No. 5 seed in the Class AAAA state tournament, will take on the fourth-seeded Academy Chargers in Thursday’s quarterfinal round. The winner of that game, scheduled for 9 a.m., will very likely get to face St. Pius X, the tournament’s top seed.
St. Pius’ Sartans arguably have been the most successful boys soccer program in state history. The Sartans have won seven of the last eight AAAA state titles outright and shared half the title with Academy in 2000.
This season, they are again the favorites to take the title. They will open their state tournament Thursday morning against No. 8 Chaparral.
While the Sartans are looming, the Hilltoppers must still get by the Chargers, which is rarely an easy task in the postseason.
Los Alamos lost a heartbreaker Sept. 17 to Academy.

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