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LA boys fall in third-place game to Chargers, 3-2
After a whiz-bang start to the Albuquerque Academy Invitational, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team dropped its final two games of the tournament last weekend, including a 3-2 loss in the third-place game to the host Chargers.
Both of Los Alamos’ losses in the tournament — the Hilltoppers fell to the Las Cruces Bulldawgs 1-0 in Friday’s semifinal — came in overtime. Las Cruces needed an extra period before its game-winning goal, while Los Alamos and Academy went to two OT periods before that contest was decided.
The two teams will meet again Friday at Academy in a regularly-scheduled contest.
Saturday’s loss against the Chargers was the third loss of the season for the Hilltoppers (4-5) to a Class 4A contender. They dropped games to Farmington 5-0 Aug. 27 and 4-3 Sept. 3.
Los Alamos stayed put in the NMSoccer.com rankings last week, holding on to its No. 4 spot. Full prep boys and girls rankings will appear in the Los Alamos Monitor later this week.
Ruiz among top scorers in the state
Looking down the Class 4A boys soccer stat sheet, right at the top there are the usual suspects from Belen, Roswell, Farmington and, of course…Bernalillo?
Bernalillo’s Diego Ruiz was the leading scorer in the state just a few days ago and is now No. 3 in the overall 4A boys soccer leaders.
Bernalillo’s Spartans, of course, are usually little more than a speed bump for District 2-4A’s top teams, Los Alamos and Capital, but the Spartans may be trying to throw their hat into that ring as well.
Bernalillo (4-5) actually has the same record as Los Alamos heading into today’s play and has scored 31 goals on the season. It has given up 27 goals in that same time span, however, 14 of those at the hands of the Belen Eagles, whom Bernalillo has lost two twice, including at the Louie Cernicek Invitational.
Ruiz, a senior, has 12 goals and 4 assists, placing him in the 4A rankings behind just two of the most prolific scorers in the state, Belen’s Ricardo Perez-Contrerez and Bloomfield’s Jose Gutierrez. Another Spartan, Jacob Martin, has a healthy six assists on the season, tying him with several other players for fourth-most in 4A.
But Ruiz has more points (28) than some very notable players, including CJ Klepac and Ryan Reeves of Farmington, Jacob Sedillo of Roswell, Hector Oquedo of Capital and Tyler Allen of Moriarty.
LA girls have 3 tough tests in a row
The Hilltopper girls soccer team starts a grinding week of play today.
Los Alamos has three big contests this week, capped off with a rematch from Saturday’s third-place game against the Albuquerque Academy Chargers. Before that, Los Alamos will meet La Cueva today and Rio Rancho Thursday.
The Hilltoppers get just a day’s rest in between these three big contests — arguably the toughest week on their 2011 schedule — but will at least have the luxury of hosting all three games.
Saturday, Los Alamos’ Chandler Art hit a shot that was deflected by Amy Neal and snuck in the goal at the 88-minute mark to give the Hilltoppers a 2-1 victory over the Chargers, the team that has defeated Los Alamos three straight years in the Class 4A championship game.
Los Alamos went 2-1 in this past weekend’s Academy Invitational. It was dealt its first loss of the season in Friday’s semifinal, falling to Class 5A Las Cruces 3-1.
Even with the loss, the Hilltoppers are sitting on a very solid win-loss record of 6-1 and have already topped four Class 4A schools, including at least one other 4A contender, Farmington.
Los Alamos has scored 29 goals on the season — Neal has had a hand in 20 of those — but the team would still like to see the offense get stronger.
“We still need to improve our combinations and make more runs, be more like a solid team,” said Los Alamos head coach Jiri Kubicek. “Getting everyone to move at the same time, we still struggle with that.”
La Cueva is the No. 4 team in Class 5A according to NMSoccer.com’s coaches’ poll which closed Sunday, just one notch below third-ranked Rio Rancho. Los Alamos beat Rio Rancho 2-1 Sept. 1 on the road.