Toppers score three times in shutout victory Thursday

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Girls soccer: LA’s Neal has goal, two assists in win

The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team earned a solid win in one of its postseason tune-up games Thursday.
The Hilltoppers shut out a stout opponent in the St. Michael’s Horsemen, taking a 3-0 victory at Brother Abdon Field in Santa Fe.
Hilltopper leading scorer Amy Neal had a goal and two assists Thursday to help the Hilltopers to the victory in their next-to-last game of the regular season. Los Alamos will play one more contest, Saturday at Aztec, before the Class 4A playoff seedings are announced Sunday.
Katie Hemphill picked up an assist on Neal’s goal, while Neal handed out assists to both Naomi Movshovich and Leslie Guarello. Bryce Theesfeld earned the shutout victory in goal, stopping four Horsemen shots.
For Los Alamos (15-4), it was the team’s 10th shutout of the season and sixth in the last seven games. Los Alamos’ defense has allowed just three goals since Sept. 15.
For St. Mike’s, goalkeeper Alyssa Evans made 10 saves.
Hilltopper assistant coach Paul Criscuolo said St. Mike’s played with five people in the penalty box and just one player up top most of the game.
“We noticed they did the same thing against St. Pius and when we played them in the preseason, they played with a similar lineup,” Cricuolo said.
The Horsemen posted an impressive 2011 season, playing in Class A-3A. The Horsemen finished with a 15-5 record and a district championship this season and could be one of the contenders in the 2011 small-school playoffs.
While Thursday’s win was a good one for the Hilltoppers coming off their unbeaten, unscored-upon run through District 2-4A, their bigger test will be Saturday against Aztec’s Tigers.
The Tigers (15-4) finished second to Farmington in a nip-and-tuck District 1-4A race, have one of the stingiest defenses in Class 4A and have a much-improved offense from 2010.
Los Alamos and Aztec met in both the 2010 regular season finale and in the semifinals of the Class 4A playoffs with the Hilltoppers winning both meetings.