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Few people will ever accuse the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team of stacking its home tournament in its favor.
The Hilltoppers finished fourth at their home tournament this weekend, going 1-2 against some top competition from around the state. In the third-place game Saturday afternoon, The Hilltoppers lost a heartbreaker to the Farmington Scorpions, 4-3.
Farmington scored two goals in the final nine minutes of play after Los Alamos went up 3-2 in the 68th minute. Ryan Maestas scored on a counter-attack after a big push from Farmington resulted in a line shot from CJ Klepac right to the gut of Hilltopper goalkeeper Lorenzo Venneri.
The Louie Cernicek Invitational has been hosted by the Hilltoppers since 1997. The tournament was known as the Mountain Top Invitational until 2001, when it was renamed after Cernicek, who was one of the founding fathers of prep soccer in New Mexico.
It is a rare year when Los Alamos wins its home tournament. Los Alamos came in this season as the defending tournament championship, but the 2010 title was the first it had won since 2004.
Unlike many other tournaments, Los Alamos doesn’t stack its home tournament with cupcakes. Of the eight teams taking part, five were ranked in the top 10 in Class 4A, while three of those, Los Alamos, Farmington and Belen, were ranked in the top five.
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