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Girls soccer: LA blanks Taos on the road

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team rolled to another big district win Saturday night at Taos.

After getting acclimated to the new artificial turf at Taos, Los Alamos scored eight times in just over 60 minutes to pick up the road victory.

Hilltopper head coach Jiri Kubicek said Taos’ new surface threw off his team’s passing game for about the first 20 minutes, but once his team was able to keep the ball to the feet, things went just fine.

Los Alamos won Saturday’s game 8-0.

With just three District 2AAAA contests remaining, Los Alamos is well on its way to picking up its fourth district title in a row. Los Alamos hasn’t lost a district game during that span and has rarely been challenged in those contests.

Saturday’s game was no exception. Taos’ Tigers didn’t get off a single shot-on-goal Saturday night.

“It was a great game for the whole team,” Kubicek said. “The passing was excellent. We had some excellent combinations.”

Kelsey Neal scored twice for the Hilltoppers (12-3 overall, 5-0 in 2AAAA) with both her goals coming in the first half, including the first goal of the contest.

Los Alamos led just 3-0 after one half. Neal scored in the 18th minute off an assist from Charlotte Hoover to break the scoreless tie. Shannon Blair, who had a big game herself, scored about 12 minutes later before Neal’s second goal just before halftime.

Blair, a junior, was credited with three assists Saturday to go with her goal. Blair helped Amelia Weaver to a goal, as did Neal, to open the second half, then helped Saya Shimada with her goal late in the contest.

“She had some nice assists,” Kubicek said. “We had a lot of nice passing…on turf, that’s what you need.”

Shaina Riciputi, who has emerged over the last month as one of Los Alamos’ most potent offensive weapon despite playing most of her minutes in the back row, scored a pair of goals, one of which was a converted penalty kick after Taos was whistled for a handball in the penalty box.

Keanna Cohen scored the other Hilltopper goal in the second half off an assist from Shimada.

Shimada, who was hampered with an ankle injury earlier this season, is back to nearly 100 percent and the Hilltoppers as a whole are about as healthy as they can be heading into their final five regular season games.

With Saturday’s win, its second by the same 8-0 score over Taos, Los Alamos needs only to beat Bernalillo Saturday to clinch the district title.