LA girls seeded second, boys sixth at state

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By The Staff

In the upcoming New Mexico Activities Association World Cup round of the state soccer tournament, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls picked up a number two seed and the Hilltopper boys earned a number six seed.

The seedings, which were determined Saturday night, came as little surprise to either team.

Los Alamos' girls, by virtue of their walking all over District 2AAAA, are the top seed in Pool B, where they will face off against seventh-seeded Moriarty and 10th-seeded Santa Teresa.

The Hilltopper girls (16-4) will start with Moriarty Thursday, then will get a day off before facing Santa Teresa Saturday. Both games will be played at the Farmers Insurance Soccer Complex Field 12 and will start at 11 a.m.

The Hilltopper boys (12-8), meanwhile, will face third-seeded Roswell (13-7) and 11th-seeded Goddard (5-12) in Pool C. Because Los Alamos was the runner-up in 2AAAA boys' play, they will have to play back-to-back days starting at 2 p.m. each day.

"I think that's OK," Hilltopper head coach Evan Gartz said. "Two is a good time to play. We have time on Friday to decompress, get ready for Friday's game. On Saturday, we'll do a little workout, get the heart rates up, mentally prepare...It's not going to be a big deal."

Friday's game will be against Goddard, and Saturday's game is the Roswell match-up.

Gartz said he was expecting either a five or six seed following Saturday's 3-1 victory against Capital for the automatic bid to the state tournament that being runner-up affords.

Capital did, however, earn one of the two at-large bids into the state tournament, and got a respectable ninth seed for a season which saw the squad make tremendous improvement over years past.

Taos, which won 2AAAA this season, picked up a fourth seed and is the top seed in Pool D.

Los Alamos' boys played neither Roswell nor Goddard this season, but Roswell's Coyotes did play at the Louie Cernicek Memorial Tournament this season.

Gartz said he watched the Coyotes' fifth-place game against Bosque Prep, which it won 3-2.

"I know things have changed quite a bit, but I think we're in a good position to move onto the (semifinals)," Gartz said. "Goddard, I know nothing about them."

The first opponent of the postseason for the Hilltopper girls is Moriarty, a team which they saw in the regular season, topping that squad 2-0 Sept. 20 in Los Alamos.

Los Alamos girls head coach Jiri Kubicek said he thought his team deserved to be a one- or two-seed, but expressed concern about dropping to third or below last week.

Kubicek said he didn't think his team had done anything to deserve falling, but that his team finished third in the NMSoccer.com poll for the last two weeks behind Albuquerque Academy, a team it beat handily just two days before its victory over Moriarty's Pintos. Kubicek felt there was some shenanigans going on with the voting and at least one team was purposely not even putting Los Alamos on the ballot in order to secure a better poll position and possibly a better seed.

The polling and the seeding don't have anything to do with each other directly, but some members of the seeding committee might have taken the poll into account.

"If we had gotten a worse seed than Academy, it would've been pretty obvious there was something going on," Kubicek said.

In both the boys and girls tournaments, the winner of Pool A will play the winner of Pool D, and the winner of Pool B will play the winner of Pool C in the semifinal round. The semifinal round will be played Nov. 8, with the final round set for Nov. 9.

The semifinals and finals will also be played at the Farmers Insurance Complex.