Boys soccer: Late Topper comeback falls just short

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By Mike Cote

SANTA FE — Generally speaking, 4-0 leads in soccer are pretty safe.

But there was nothing safe about St. Michael’s 4-0 halftime lead over the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team during Friday’s contest at Brother Abdon Field.

A rather improbable comeback by the Hilltoppers, however would fall just short. It wasn’t for lack of trying, though.

Los Alamos came within inches of clawing its way back from a four-goal deficit with under 15 minutes to play, but St. Michael’s Horsemen held on for a 5-4 nondistrict win Tuesday.

In a wild finish to a wild second half, the Hilltoppers put eight shots on goal in the final three minutes of regulation and extra time, with Jon Thoma scoring a goal very late in the contest to put his team within one score.

Evan Gartz, Los Alamos’ head coach, said he made sure to let his team know exactly what was on his mind at the halftime break. From then on, his team stayed on track.

“It showed a lot of good potential with our team,” Gartz said. “With our backs against the wall we finally got it going. It was just too little, too late.”

If Gartz’s halftime speech left any of the team members un-fired up, the field official’s call in the 53rd minute certainly got them hot under the collar.

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