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Toppers earn shutout to advance

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By Mike Cote

ALBUQUERQUE — It was a question to be answered how well the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team would play following a long layoff.
And while the Hilltoppers earned a 1-0 victory, they were hoping to see a better overall contest than they did Thursday.
Los Alamos picked up the win over the Piedra Vista Panthers in the quarterfinal round of the Class 4A state championship tournament and advanced to this morning’s 4A semifinal round, its 13th consecutive trip to the semifinals.
But Los Alamos managed just one goal on the day Thursday, that coming in the 27th minute by Amy Neal with an outstanding individual effort.
Neal corralled a long ball from the defensive third and drove into the penalty box. She made a small juke to the left and split a pair of fullbacks.
Neal’s shot from point-blank range went right through a stabbing attempt by Piedra Vista’s Sara Engert.
Los Alamos had several more chances throughout the contest to give itself breathing room over Piedra Vista but struggled to get its shots on target.
The lowered output was due to a combination of factors, including the layoff, but the Hilltoppers also had to deal with the physicality of the Panthers.


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