Girls soccer: LA crushes another district foe

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By Mike Cote

SANTA FE — You can’t predict the weather, but the District 2AAAA girls soccer race is  pretty much a foregone conclusion.

Had everything gone according to schedule, the Los Alamos Hilltoppers would have been celebrating their fourth-straight district title with Tuesday’s 10-0 romp of the Capital Jaguars.

Instead, due to inclement weather that postponed its match against Española Valley Saturday, Los Alamos will have to postpone the celebration at least until Thursday. Española Valley, the weakest team in the weakest district in the state, wasn’t expected to do much more than be another quick victim for the Hilltoppers, who have won 29 straight district contests spanning back to 2005.

Los Alamos upped its district mark to 5-0 with its thrashing of Capital Tuesday at Jaguar Field and is now just one win away from clinching another 2AAAA title. With Tuesday’s win — in the first game of a district doubleheader with the Hilltopper boys beating the Jaguars in the nightcap — Los Alamos has outscored its 2AAAA opponents by a combined 48-0. In none of Los Alamos’ five district wins have its opponents even sniffed a goal.

About the only thing that could break the Hilltoppers’ domination of 2AAAA is the aforementioned postponement, which the Hilltoppers could conceivably forfeit if the game can’t be made up.

That’s an absolute last resort and not just because it would snap the Hilltoppers’ streak. That also wouldn’t look very good on the Hilltoppers’ resume when the New Mexico Activities Association’s seeding committee meets in less than two weeks to determine the shape of the Class AAAA playoffs.

“We don’t want to forfeit,” Los Alamos head coach Jiri Kubicek said. “You put that on your stats and a lot of people will say that you lost to Española. They’re going to see that and they’re going to rank you lower.”

Los Alamos has four games scheduled in the next eight days, so a make-up game could probably not be rescheduled until after Oct. 23.

Tuesday, Los Alamos put 23 shots-on-goal in the 43-minute contest. Los Alamos shut the door on Capital early with Kelsey Neal’s goal early in the second half, giving it the magic 10-goal advantage.

Maneesha Chitanvis, who has been on a tear during the district season, scored three goals and had two assists, giving her a whopping 58 total points. She is the leading scorer in Class AAAA with a 10-point edge over Albuquerque Academy’s Jennifer White.

Chitanvis leads AAAA in both goals (21) and assists (16). Saya Shimada, who had a goal and an assist Tuesday, is tied for ninth in the state with 31 points.

The Hilltoppers (12-4 overall) went no more than nine minutes without a goal Tuesday.

Keyla Tumas scored a pair of goals and assisted Chitanvis on the first goal of the contest for the Hilltoppers.

Also scoring for the Hilltoppers were Charlotte Hoover, Amelia Weaver and Asli Unal. Neal and Unal each had a pair of assists against the Jaguars, while Jaime Benage and Shaina Riciputi both earned single assists.

“We had some nice combinations,” Kubicek said. “We’ve done good against the offside trap, but it’s hard when you have 10 players inside a 30-yard square all the time.”

Kubicek said he just wants to get the district games over with. His team is very much looking forward to its final two scheduled games of the season, nondistrict contests against La Cueva and St. Michael’s, which were put on the tail-end of the schedule to help the team get ready for state playoff competition.