The last time the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team went on to win the Louie Cernicek Invitational, it would go on to win the state championship.
In 2012, the Hilltoppers are hoping this weekend’s tournament is a harbinger of things to come.
Los Alamos picked up two impressive victories in the opening rounds of the tournament, but had to slug it out against the defending Class 4A champion Farmington Scorpions.
After 78 minutes of scoreless ball and both teams struggling to produce any offense, Farmington’s Jeremy Klepac, quite possibly the most dangerous player in 4A, outhustled the Hilltopper defense to a long boot ball. Klepac emerged with the ball from a converging triangle of Los Alamos defenders to clang a shot off the crossbar and in.
But the drama wasn’t over, not by a long shot.
Deep in extra time, Cooper Christensen was fouled just outside of the Farmington penalty box. Midfielder Rohun Iyer was locked on to fullback Ben Stewart as he set up a flip-over kick that went right to Stewart’s head and into the goal.
Stewart, who was named the Defensive Player of the Tournament, said he felt responsible for Klepac’s late goal and new it was up to him to make something happen.