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Girls soccer: Toppers look to get back to playoffs

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By Mike Cote

Despite plenty of new faces being in new places, the 2008 Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team has high expectations for itself.

But there’s a big question that will need to be answered during this regular season.

Los Alamos, which advanced to the 2007 state semifinals, lost three big scoring threats to graduation, including its two point leaders off that team. Desirae Hull, who before getting hurt in the latter half of the season was Class AAAA’s total points leader, and midfielder Sarah Ethridge, the team’s spiritual leader, are both gone.

Now, the Hilltoppers will be looking to replace both the offense and the leadership they provided — they and midfielder Heidi Nakaoka are moving on to play college soccer this season.

Those responsibilities, at least initially, will fall squarely on the shoulders of striker Maneesha Chitanvis and wing Keyla Tumas.

Tumas, Chitanvis and the rest of the Hilltoppers had their first trial this weekend at the Farmington Invitational, where they opened their 2008 campaign.

Even with 10 new players on the roster, the Hilltoppers feel like the team is already well on its way to meshing.

“They’re working hard,” Chitanvis said of the newcomers. “We’re coming together well as a team...there’s no problem with that.”


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