'Topper soccer teams will take on Academy's Chargers today

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys and girls soccer teams will have their hands full today when they face an old rival.
Both Hilltopper teams will take on the Albuquerque Academy Chargers today. The Hilltopper boys will face the Chargers at 4:30 p.m. in Albuquerque, while the Hilltopper girls will host the Chargers at 6 p.m.
Unfortunately, neither Los Alamos team will be heading into today’s game on a high note. Los Alamos’ girls lost 2 of 3 contests at last week’s Academy Invitational, while the boys dropped all three of their tournament contests.
Los Alamos’ boys were swept at the Academy tournament, falling 1-0 to Sandia Prep in their consolation round game Friday against a very tough Sandia Prep squad, then losing 3-2 to the Oñate Knights in the seventh-place game Saturday morning.
Against Sandia Prep, the Sundevils’ Ryan Hunter scored the lone goal of the game in the second half off an assist from Sam Albert.
In goal for Los Alamos, Chris Parker had five saves.
Against Oñate, Collin Stone picked up a goal for the Hilltoppers (4-5), as did Skylar Veenis, who also had a big goal for them against St. Michael’s earlier last week.
Eric Schmalz was credited with his fifth assist of the season.
But Oñate scored twice in the first half Saturday, then followed that up with what would be the game-winner in the second half.
For Los Alamos’ girls, they bounced back from a first round loss to Farmington to top Oñate in the consolation round 2-0. They fell to Las Cruces 1-0 in the tournament’s fifth-place game this weekend.
Forward Catie McDonald scored both goals for Los Alamos (2-5) against the Knights (1-6), the first off an assist from Stephanie Blair and the second off an assist by Meghan McDonald.
“We totally dominated,” Hilltopper head coach Jiri Kubicek said. “We had many chances, but we didn’t put anything in. We were sluggish.”
Elena Atencio and Kaitlin Lemke split time in goal against the Knights Friday, both earning two saves.
Atencio would finish with 6 saves Saturday against Las Cruces, but unfortunately, the Hilltoppers were shut out for the second time this season.
Las Cruces’ lone goal came about four minutes into the second half. A long through-ball took a funny skip in front of the Hilltopper goal and went into the net for the game-winner.
Other than that, Kubicek said the game was played pretty even throughout.
Today, the Hilltopper girls will host the Chargers, who are the five-time defending Class 4A champions. The Chargers victimized the Hilltoppers in each of the state championship games between 2008-2010.
Academy (5-3) finished third in its home tournament last week. It beat Farmington in the semifinals of that tournament, something Los Alamos hasn’t done in two attempts this year.
Kubicek said he thinks the two teams are pretty even this season and the game will come down to which team takes advantage of its chances better.
“So far, we can put one half together,” he said. “We can play for 40 minutes, but in the second half we are sluggish. We make mistakes and they score easy goals...(the Chargers) don’t score many goals, either.”
In Albuquerque, Los Alamos will attempt to knock off Academy, which has had an impressive showing in the regular season so far. Academy (7-1) suffered its only loss of the year in late August to Sandia, a tough Class 5A squad.
Academy has outscored its opponents 15-5 on the season, including a 9-2 goal advantage during its home tournament.