LA secures state tournament slot

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By Mike Cote

It was a position the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys varsity soccer team was all too familiar with.

The Hilltoppers got on the board first early in the first half and were playing solid defense to limit their opponent's chances.

That was the first meeting between Los Alamos and Capital. And that go-round didn't end well for Los Alamos.

But the second time was the charm for the Hilltoppers Saturday, as a converted penalty kick by Mike Jones in the 47th minute put the 'Toppers up to stay. The 'Toppers added an insurance goal by Noah Sandoval in the 51st minute to win 3-1 at Sullivan Field.

Los Alamos got not only a measure of revenge against the Jaguars, who won the Oct. 9 game at Jaguar Field 3-2 in a shootout, but also secured a bid for the Class AAAA World Cup round, which starts Thursday.

And now it's Capital's Jaguars who are on the bubble and at the mercy of the AAAA selection committee.

"We played great (Saturday)," Hilltopper co-head coach Evan Gartz said following the victory. "We had possession of the ball all game, and that was the difference."

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