ALBUQUERQUE — After slugging it out for nearly an hour and a half, the Los Alamos-Chaparral boys soccer semifinal was decided by a penalty kick.
The two teams duked it out in an exciting, back-and-forth battle for the right to advance to the Class 4A championship game, but the game was decided in anticlimactic fashion.
In the 87th minute, Chaparral’s outstanding forward Jesus Ramos was grabbed and held in the penalty box. Chaparral’s Edgar Lopez had no trouble converting the ensuing penalty kick to knock the Hilltoppers out of the 2012 state playoffs.
Friday’s loss at the Albuquerque Public Schools Soccer Complex was an unfortunate ending to what had been one of the best games of the Hilltoppers’ season.
Los Alamos, the No. 3 seed in the 4A playoffs, had high hopes to get back to the state finale for the second time in three seasons. After a 2-1 win Thursday over a scrappy Los Lunas squad Thursday, the Hilltoppers came into Friday’s semifinal fired up.
Unfortunately, the Hilltoppers had trouble in the first half getting their passing game under control. Playing with a breeze at their backs, many of the Hilltoppers passes went long, resulting in turnovers.