Hilltoppers roll over Jaguars 10-0 on Tuesday

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Girls soccer: LA scores eight goals in first half, has 2 more games left

By Mike Cote

SANTA FE — Amy Neal scored four goals, including the contest-icer Tuesday as the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team thumped the Capital Jaguars in its District 2-4A season finale.
Los Alamos needed just 60 minutes to knock off Capital Tuesday night at Jaguar Field. With the game-closing 10th goal relatively slow in coming, Los Alamos head coach Jiri Kubicek sent in Neal, his top finisher, to put the contest away. Neal’s short-range goal, off an assist from Naomi Movshovich, put the contest away.
With the 10-0 victory, the Hilltoppers officially closed out their fifth straight district season unbeaten and unscored upon.
“We’re playing good ball right now,” Kubicek said. “We haven’t had our best practices sometimes, but we’re in good spirits and we’ll keep winning.”
Los Alamos once again dominated Capital, which failed to take a shot or even get particularly close to bothering Hilltopper goalkeeper Natalie Brenner. The vast majority of the contest was played on the Jaguar side of the field.
For the district season, the Hilltoppers (14-4) outscored their three opponents by a combined 39-0.
Now, the Hilltoppers will play two more nondistrict contests to wrap up the season. They will face St. Michael’s, their traditional final-week opponent, Thursday in Santa Fe before traveling to the Four Corners to take on Aztec, a solid team which is currently second in the District 1-4A standings.
While the Aztec contest will be the more important of the two remaining contests, Hilltopper Laura Wendelberger said she wasn’t terribly worried about the Tigers.
“I think we can take them,” said Wendelberger, who scored the Hilltoppers’ ninth goal in the 54th minute Tuesday. “It’s going to be tough, but we can do it.”
Wendelberger’s and Neal’s final goal were the only two goals the Hilltoppers needed in the second half after taking an 8-0 lead in the first half.
Neal scored three times in the first half, two of those coming within three minutes of one another and the third right before halftime.
Along with Neal and Wendelberger, Leslie Guarello had two goals and an assist, while Chandler Art was credited with three assists. Movshovich had a goal and two assists, while Jennifer Paul and Julia Haagenstad both earned goals. Kaitlin Leslie had an assist on Guarello’s goal in the 32nd minute.
The Hilltoppers have won three straight contests and eight of their last nine. Their only loss during that stretch was to the likely No. 1 seed in the Class 4A playoffs, the St. Pius X Sartans.
Wendelberger said that loss to the Sartans may have been a good thing for the team.
“It might help us,” she said. “It makes us want it even more. It inspired us to play better. That loss hurt us all a lot. We don’t want to feel that way again.”
Los Alamos will almost certainly land in the No. 2 or 3 spots when the 4A tournament bracket is announced Sunday.
It clinched the 2-4A title last week with a 5-0 win against Santa Fe.