Girls soccer: LA earns big win over Capital

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By Mike Cote

SANTA FE — It was a bit of a balancing act that the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team had to perform Tuesday, but it didn’t appear to be much of problem.
About the only concern the Hilltoppers had in the District 2AAAA finale was to make sure they didn’t tire themselves out with two big games scheduled for later this week.
The Hilltoppers took on the Capital Jaguars to close out the district season Tuesday at Jaguar Field and, as expected, routed them 10-0, finishing the game off about eight minutes early.
Los Alamos, already the proud owner of a district title for the 2010 season, simply wanted to get through Tuesday’s game full intact and with some energy to spare. The contest against the Jaguars was its first, and ultimately, least important, of three contests scheduled for this, the final week of the regular season.
Friday, Los Alamos will meet the St. Michael’s Horsemen at home, then finish off the regular season with one of its most important games of 2010, entertaining the Aztec Tigers Saturday.
The Hilltoppers-Tigers game could well determine the fate of both teams when the Class AAAA brackets are released Sunday. The winner could well clinch one of the coveted top four seeds in the state tournament, while the other may be left out of the top four and have to play a first-round contest the following weekend.
In Tuesday’s game, Los Alamos had a solid showing throughout.
“We were moving the ball around well and we had some nice combinations,” Los Alamos head coach Jiri Kubicek said. “In the first half, we had some nice shooting. We really tried to work the ball around and make some shots.”
Almost all of the first half was played on the Jaguars’ half of the field as the Hilltoppers (9-9 overall, 6-0 in 2AAAA) jumped out to a 6-0 lead. The Hilltoppers scored three times in about a 2-1/2 minute span late in the half.
For the contest, Lindsay Benage scored the opening and closing goals, the first coming off a header on Amy Neal’s corner kick in the 12th minute and the second on a direct kick in the 72nd minute.
Also scoring twice for the Hilltoppers was Katie Hemphill, who also added an assist on Emily Funsten’s 44th-minute goal.
Also scoring goals were Neal, Stephanie Blair, Grace Liu, Shannon Blair and Naomi Movshovich.
Neal and Jennifer Paul both finished with two assists Tuesday, while Shannon Blair, Shelby Keffeler, Laura Wendelberger and Hemphill were all credited with one assist.