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Chargers outlast Toppers in second half Thursday

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By Mike Cote

SANTA ANA PUEBLO — In Thursday’s Class AAAA state boys soccer semifinal, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys made almost every shot count.Unfortunately for the Hilltoppers there wasn’t enough of them.Los Alamos got off only three shots in Thursday’s semifinal against the Albuquerque Academy Chargers, but two of them found their way into the onion bag in the first half, as the ’Toppers held a 2-1 edge going into the halftime break.But it would be the Chargers supplying all the offense in the second half Thursday, scoring a pair of goals in the latter part of the bottom half to win 3-2 and advance to today’s Class AAAA final.The semifinal was played at the Farmers Insurance Soccer Complex, just east of Bernalillo.Academy will see a familiar face in the final, St. Pius X, which plays in the same 5AAAA district as the Chargers. St. Pius, the odds-on favorite to win its sixth straight state title, beat up on Farmington 3-0 to advance to the championship. The title game is set for 7:30 p.m.“Obviously, they got the upper hand,” Hilltopper striker Ryota Shimada said following the loss, which ended Los Alamos’ 2007 season.