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Boys soccer: Toppers win big over Tigers

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team picked up another big win in District 2AAAA and is in control heading into the final stretch of its regular season.

The Hilltoppers broke open a close contest with four goals in the second half to knock off the Taos Tigers 5-0 on the road Saturday.

Davis Anson had a pair of goals and Andy Thoma picked up a pair of assists in Saturday’s second half, helping the Hilltoppers to their second shutout win of the season over Taos.

More importantly, Los Alamos ran its 2AAAA record to 5-0 with the victory and, along with its 1-0 win over Capital earlier last week, is in good position to win its fourth straight district title.

Saturday’s win was the seventh in a row for the Hilltoppers (11-4 overall) heading into a big nondistrict contest Tuesday at St. Pius X.

“The last couple of games, we’ve really turned a corner,” Los Alamos head coach Evan Gartz said. “”We’re playing really pretty soccer. Our passing is great. That’s what we’ve wanted to tighten up and we have…That was a quality win for us.”

Los Alamos dominated the contest throughout, despite having just one goal to show for the first half. Taos opted to keep 10 players inside the 18-yard box, which made getting the ball into the net a challenge.

Los Alamos scored its first half goal with David Wyman cutting through the defense on a 40-yard overlapping run, chasing down a through-ball from Andre Appert. Wyman’s run from his center-midfield position resulted in a 2-touch straight into the Taos goal to get Los Alamos on the board.

The second half, Los Alamos was able to find the cracks in the Taos defense and simply pick it apart. Anson penetrated in to field a pass from Thoma for one of his goals, then headed in a crossing pass from Chase Havemann for his other goal.

Thoma also picked up an assist on Daniel Rodriguez’s goal. Graham Delano scored off a Nick Castaño assist.

The Tigers (5-9 overall, 1-3 in 2AAAA) would never get much going offensively to stage any kind of comeback.

It was the sixth straight shutout for the Hilltoppers, who haven’t surrender a goal to a 2AAAA opponent.

Tuesday’s nondistrict game against St. Pius could be huge for the Hilltoppers in terms of seeding for the postseason. The Hilltoppers would love to grab one of the top two seeds in the Class AAAA playoffs and could really up their argument for one of those spots with a win.

The St. Pius contest is a makeup game from a Sept. 17 postponement due to poor field conditions in Albuquerque.