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The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team couldn’t follow up on its big win at the Louie Cernicek Invitational this weekend.
The Hilltoppers (4-2) fell to the St. Michael’s Horsemen on the road Monday by a final of 4-3.
Los Alamos, coming off three victories in two days at the Cernicek tournament — the team’s first win in that tournament since 2004 — didn’t have much in the tank Monday when squaring off against the Horsemen, who were plenty amped up to see them.
“We can’t overlook anybody, especially people who are familiar with our program,” Los Alamos head coach Evan Gartz said. “We’ve got a big target on our backs and we’re such a big game for a lot of people. “We’ve got to be mentally ready for everybody we step out on the field for.”
Complicating the matter Monday was the fact that Los Alamos scored within the first 30 seconds of kickoff, a goal which Gartz said actually contributed to a letdown.
St. Mike’s, a very solid Class AAA program that very much enjoys knocking Los Alamos off when it gets the chance, came back with a pair of goals later in the opening half to take a 2-1 lead.
Following Chase Havemann’s early goal, Los Alamos scored twice in the second half — Andy Thoma and Paul Hemez both netted goals — but the Horsemen were able to take advantage of a thin defensive line and the absence of starting goalkeeper Lorenzo Venneri, who was out sick.
Gartz said he’s hopeful defensive star Graham Delano will be back for at least part of the upcoming Albuquerque Academy Invitational, the first round of which is scheduled for Thursday. Delano injured his leg in Friday’s opening round Cernicek contest. Gartz said he was scheduled to see a doctor today to find out the extent of the injury.
Gartz said he’s planning little more than light workouts today and Wednesday to give his team some recovery time.
“To play that many games in that short of time, you could see it was very draining,” he said.