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LA falls in first round of boys soccer tourney

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The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team played one of its most complete games of the 2011 season Saturday, but that wouldn't be enough to pull off an upset.

The Hilltoppers fell in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs Saturday to the Piedra Vista Panthers. After going up 1-0 in the first half, the Hilltoppers couldn't convert on several more chances throughout the game.

The game would ultimately go into penalty kicks, with the Panthers winning the shootout 3-1 to take the first round victory.

"We played really well," Los Alamos head coach Evan Gartz said. "The energy was there. We had a lot of momentum during the game. We actually had a lot more scoring chances than they did. They left it all on the field today."

The loss knocks Los Alamos (8-12) out of the 4A playoffs and ends its 2011 season. Los Alamos had high hopes heading into the season following its 2010 state championship — the first for the program since the mid-1980s — but could never sustain a groove during the regular season.

Brady Stokes tallied Los Alamos' goal midway through the first half, corralling a free kick from Zeke Zumbro in front of the Piedra Vista goal and knocking it in. Piedra Vista would score on a corner kick that the wind played with in front of the Hilltoppers' goal in the second half.

Piedra Vista will advance to play St. Pius X in the quarterfinals of the 4A playoffs Thursday in Albuquerque.

See more information in Tuesday's Los Alamos Monitor.