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Soccer: LA boys get 5th seed in playoffs

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By Mike Cote

It was a crowded door to try to get through and the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team was just crowded out.
Los Alamos picked up a fifth seed in the upcoming state soccer playoffs. The bracket for the Class AAAA tournament was released Sunday.
The No. 5 seed means the Hilltoppers (13-8) just missed out on one of the coveted top four bracket spots that as many seven teams could legitimately lay claim to this season.
Instead, Los Alamos will play an opening round game Saturday. That game is set for 1 p.m. at Sullivan Field.
It will face off against 12th-seeded Los Lunas (10-9), which finished as the runner-up in District 6AAAA this season. The winner of Saturday’s game at Sullivan Field will take on fourth-seeded Albuquerque Academy in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs.
Los Alamos and Los Lunas met in the first round of the Louie Cernicek Invitational early this season, with the Hilltoppers winning 3-0.
Hilltopper head coach Evan Gartz said he’s comfortable with his position.
“I’d rather be No. 5 than No. 4,” he said. “That extra game gives us an advantage.”
Los Alamos closed out the 2010 season well, winning six of its last seven, including a decisive 3-0 victory over Capital to clinch the District 2AAAA.
St. Pius X, which has won seven of the last eight Class AAAA state titles, earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Following St. Pius, Belen, Roswell and Academy round out the top four.
Gartz said there were some quirks in the tournament bracket — Belen retained its No. 2 seed despite a late-season loss to Grants — and was critical of the New Mexico Activities Association seeding committee.
“When the committee members don’t know much about soccer, they just go by records,” he said. “That’s not much of a surprise.”
Farmington, the defending Class AAAA champion, which beat Los Alamos in the 2009 state title game, will have a shot at a repeat title, earning a No. 6 seed in the boys bracket. Capital, the 2AAAA runner-up behind Los Alamos, earned a No. 7 seed.

Here are the brackets for the Class AAAA state championship boys and girls soccer tournaments.

Girls

First round

Friday and Saturday, home sites

(9) Roswell at (8) Los Lunas, 3 p.m. Friday.
(12) Piedra Vista at (5) St. Pius X, 4 p.m. Friday.
(11) Kirtland Central at (6) Los Alamos, 4:30 p.m. Saturday
(10) Deming at (7) Del Norte, 11 a.m. Saturday.

Quarterfinal round

Nov. 4, APS Soccer Complex

Roswell-Los Lunas winner vs. (1) Albuquerque Academy, 11:30 a.m.
Piedra Vista-St. Pius winner vs. (4) Miyamura, 11:30 a.m.
Kirtland Central-Los Alamos winner vs. (3) Farmington, noon.
Deming-Del Norte winner vs. (2) Aztec, noon.

Semifinal round
Nov. 5, APS Soccer Complex, 6 p.m.

Final round
Nov. 6, APS Soccer Complex, 6 p.m.

Boys

First round

Friday and Saturday, home sites

(9) Piedra Vista at (8) Chaparral, 11 a.m. Saturday.
(12) Los Lunas at (5) Los Alamos, 1 p.m. Saturday.
(11) Valencia at (6) Farmington, 2 p.m. Saturday.
(10) Santa Teresa at (7) Capital, 6 p.m. Friday.

Quarterfinal round

Nov. 4, APS Soccer Complex

Chaparral-Piedra Vista winner vs. (1) St. Pius X, 9 a.m.
Los Lunas-Los Alamos winner vs. (4) Albuquerque Academy, 9 a.m.
Valencia-Farmington winner vs. (3) Roswell, 9:30 a.m.
Santa Teresa-Capital winner vs. (2) Belen, 9:30 a.m.

Semifinal round
Nov. 5, APS Soccer Complex, 6 p.m.

Final round
Nov. 6, APS Soccer Complex, 6 p.m.