John McHale
Hilltopper Austin Rowan goes up for a header in Los Alamos’ game against Piedra Vista Oct. 18. Los Alamos topped Piedra Vista, Bernalillo and Del Norte in a span of just five days to close out its regular season. The Hilltoppers will host the Santa Teresa Desert Warriors Saturday in the opening round of the Class 5A playoffs.
'Toppers, Warriors meet in 1st round

It’s do or die time for the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team.
The Class 5A playoffs get underway this weekend for teams around the state, and the Hilltoppers have a challenging draw to get things going.
Los Alamos will take on Santa Teresa (8-7-4) in the opening round of the postseason. That game is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday.
The Hilltoppers (10-8-2) got what they wanted out of the seeding and selection committee this year, a first round home game. That was at least partially secured by a runner-up finish in the District 2 race and ending the season on a high note. Los Alamos, which was 3-7-2 heading into final week of September, won seven of its last eight games, including three straight to end the season.
That afforded the Hilltoppers a No. 8 seed in the tournament. But that also gave the Hilltoppers a difficult draw.
Along with having to play a solid team in Santa Teresa Saturday, the Hilltoppers, should they prevail, would have to face top-seeded Albuquerque Academy in the quarterfinal round next week.
The Desert Warriors played in perhaps the most competitive district in 5A, District 3. This season, five of the six District 3 teams advanced to the playoffs.

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