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The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team had some defensive issues in the first half of its season opener Tuesday.
Los Alamos allowed a pair of goals to the Bosque School Bobcats in Tuesday’s game in Albuquerque.
Things got a little better in the second half for Los Alamos, but it would still end up on the short end of the contest, 2-1.
Bosque was set up with its first big chance of the game on a Los Alamos handball in the first half. Then, Los Alamos didn’t properly set up its wall on the ensuing free kick, occurring just outside its penalty box, and the Bobcats took advantage.
The Bobcats (1-0), who made the state championship contest in Class A-3A last season, took advantage of another defensive communication later in the half for their second goal.
The Hilltoppers regrouped after halftime, however, and looked much better in the second half, although they would only find the goal once.
“The biggest thing was improvement,” Los Alamos head coach Evan Gartz said. “In the first half, our lack of experience was huge. With only having four or five guys with real varsity experience, it showed, especially in the first half.”
The Hilltoppers debuted several new players Tuesday after losing many key starters to graduation, particularly in the midfield.
In the second half, however, Los Alamos’ defense held Bosque without a shot.
It was also able to halve the lead when Collin Stone beat a trio of Bobcats from the midline to the penalty box, then sent a curving left-footed shot into the upper corner of the goal, which Gartz said the Bobcat goalkeeper didn’t even attempt to stop, as he had no chance at it.
Stone, a senior, is the Hilltoppers’ top returning offensive performer.
After the early troubles, Los Alamos had some better efforts, particularly on defense, in the second half, something Gartz was happy to see.
Los Alamos will make its home debut Friday morning in the first round of the Louie Cernicek Invitational. It will face Goddard (0-1) at Sullivan Field.
Goddard had its season opener Tuesday as well, dropping a 2-1 decision to Ruidoso. The Rockets, which struggled in 2012, led Ruidoso 1-0 at the break, but Ruidoso would bounce back with a pair of unaswered goals in the second half.
In goal for Los Alamos Tuesday, junior Christopher Parker finished with 6 saves.