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The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team earned a key win Saturday in Santa Fe, but it got the win the hard way.
If it could go wrong, it did for Los Alamos, which got two big cards and a key player hurt prior to the game, but the Hilltoppers still came away from Ivan Head Stadium with a 3-1 victory over the Santa Fe Demons.
Meghan McDonald scored on a breakaway chance in the first half, then Chandler Art added an insurance goal for Los Alamos in the second half to put the game away.
It was a costly win, however. Late in the first half, the Hilltoppers’ leading scorer, Catie McDonald, was slapped with a red card for a collision near Santa Fe’s goal. Art was hit with a yellow card later in the first half.
“In the first half, we were frustrated,” Los Alamos head coach Jiri Kubiceksaid. “We had some opportunities. There were some fouls, but you can’t get frustrated.”
Prior to the game, Los Alamos’ Kristin Funsten was hit with a ball while trying to exit the field and was complaining of concussion-like symptoms. Funsten, one of the team’s veterans, was unable to play Saturday.
Catie McDonald scored the first goal of the game for Los Alamos (4-8 overall, 2-0 in 2-4A) on a breakaway 10 minutes into the contest. Santa Fe came back to tie the score about five minutes later on a long direct kick.
But Kaitlin Lemke, who is starting in goal while Elena Atencio is out with an injury, shut out the Demons the rest of the way to pick up her second win during the district season.
With Saturday’s win, Los Alamos appears to have clear sailing en route to a seventh consecutive district title — Saturday’s game may prove to be the team’s toughest 2-4A game this year.
“We paid for it,” Kubicek said. “We’re missing a couple of players, but it was a good district win. That’s all that matters.”