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The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team had some breakdowns at the beginning and the end of its game Tuesday against the La Cueva Bears, falling at the Albuquerque Public Schools Soccer Complex 6-1.
The Bears took advantage of a pair of mistakes early in the contest, taking a quick 2-0 edge. Then, late in the game, the Bears went on a scoring frenzy, picking up three goals in the space of about five minutes to win going away.
Hilltopper head coach Evan Gartz said it was a disappointing way to start the game, but his team picked it up afterwards and played fairly even with the Bears until a late-game mental breakdown.
“We didn’t really make them earn stuff,” Gartz said. “The two goals in the first half were our mistakes, people not marking people. Their second goal was pretty, but those goals were a little embarrassing.”
Los Alamos’ only goal came in the second half. Nick Thoma’s corner kick went to Dallin Parker on the opposite side the goal. Parker headed the goal back into the middle, where Henry Steinkamp put it away.
Parker has picked up his game considerably through the early part of the Hilltoppers’ schedule. Parker scored a pair of goals in a loss to Farmington Sept. 3 and picked up another goal in a win over Cleveland last week.
“I knew we’d have to get some energy from our juniors,” Gartz said. “All three guys (Thoma, Steinkamp and Parker) are getting some valuable experience. Dallin’s been an offensive spark for us.”
Gartz said his team still needs to transition from offense to defense better than it has been so far this season. It also needs to play a full 80-minute game, something it failed to do against Albuquerque Academy last weekend.
The Hilltoppers (4-6) will be off until Friday, when they face Academy’s Chargers. The Chargers came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Hilltoppers 3-2 in overtime Saturday in the third-place game of their home tournament.