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If Los Alamos’ girls soccer team wants to make a run in the state Class AAAA playoffs, head coach Jiri Kubicek said it will need to make more plays than it did Tuesday.
Los Alamos had plenty of chances to take a lead in the first half, then another two chances to get back into the game late in the second half. But for all those chance, the Hilltoppers came up empty.
Albuquerque Academy picked up a big win at home over the Hilltoppers Tuesday, winning an important nondistrict Class AAAA game 2-0. Academy’s Chargers picked up goals in each half to earn the victory.
The Hilltoppers failed to not only pick up an edge against one of AAAA’s top contenders but couldn’t earn the measure of revenge they were seeking for their loss to the Chargers in the 2007 playoffs.
“We beat ourselves,” Kubicek said. “The first half we totally dominated…we just couldn’t put it in. Defensively, we were playing on our heels and we couldn’t contain their strikers.”
Academy scored late in the first half on a shot from 25 yards out that sailed over the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Jenny Tumas.
Going into Tuesday’s game, Tumas had allowed just one goal on the season.
The Chargers would score again in the second half on a long crossing pass from the far corner that slipped through Tumas’ hands to an awaiting attacker, who knocked in an empty-netter.
Academy (7-2) earned its fifth shutout of the season with Tuesday’s win.
“They’re a good team, but we can play with them,” Kubicek said of the Chargers. “We played them an even match, but we need to take advantage of our opportunities, then they’ll be the ones playing catch-up.”
After Los Alamos fell behind 2-0, it had a pair of 1-on-1 opportunities with Charger goalkeeper Erin Wosick, one of the top backstops in the state. Both shots on the 1-on-1 chances, however, ended up right in Wosick’s hands.
The Hilltoppers (5-3) have been shut out in all three of their losses this season.
Los Alamos would prefer to go into District 2AAAA play — which starts Thursday — on a higher note, but probably won’t need a lot of momentum to get by homestanding Española Valley, which has scored just one goal in four games this season.
The Hilltoppers will once again be the mammoth favorite to win 2AAAA. Only Taos appears to have any hope of knocking off the thdefending district champ.
Assuming Los Alamos gets by Española Valley, another big game looms Saturday when it takes on St. Pius X (2-5), the defending Class AAAA champion which has struggled so far this season but is still considered very dangerous.
“It’s good were playing teams like that,” Kubicek said of Academy and St. Pius. “That’s the level you need to play at if you want to win state. If you can’t play at that level, you have no chance.”