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The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team christened its new artificial turf home field with a victory in the first round of the Louie Cernicek Invitational.
In the tournament-opening contest at Sullivan Field today, Los Alamos came back from a 1-0 deficit with under two minutes remaining in regulation to tie the score against the Goddard Rockets.
Then, in the second overtime period, Henry Steinkamp buried a direct kick into the upper right corner of the Goddard goal to give the Hillltoppers a 2-1 win and move on to the second round of the tournament. Los Alamos will play at 8 a.m. Saturday, also at Sullivan Field.
This morning’s game was the first to be played on the new surface at Sullivan Field. The venue had its grass field removed over the summer to an artificial surface.
The work at the field had been scheduled to be completed by mid-August but crews only wrapped up the renovation Thursday morning. As of noon Thursday, it was still up in the air whether the field would be playable for this tournament.
The Hilltoppers (2-1) will face either Roswell or Piedra Vista Saturday.
Los Alamos controlled play for most of this morning’s contest, but couldn’t find the net through the bulk of regulation.
It was the Rockets who broke the scoreless tie in the 67th minute. A turnover deep in Hilltopper territory came to the feet of Efrain Morales, who went to the left side of the goal past diving Hilltopper goalkeerp Lorenzo Venneri to give the Rockets the edge.
Late in the second half, goalkeeper Raul Alvidrez made two big stops, including knocking a point-blank shot off the left goalpost in the 77th minute.
But in the 79th minute, Nick Thoma dove toward the goal and headed a crossing pass past Alvidrez to knot the score and send it into overtime.
The tournament championship game is set for 6 p.m. Saturday.