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  • LA is looking to reverse its fortunes

    It’s a new football season for the teams in District 2-5A and for the Los Alamos Hilltoppers, it’s a safe bet they’re not sorry to see the old season go.
    Los Alamos starts district play tonight when they host the Capital Jaguars. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Sullivan Field.
    It’s been rough going, to say the very least, for the Hilltoppers. They finished their nondistrict slate 0-6 and have just 25 points to show for it, none in the last six quarters.
    Moreover, the Hilltoppers have had a slew of injuries which started during the preseason. Last week, in a big loss to the Santa Fe Demons, the team’s top newcomer, Jarrett Genero, had to watch from the sideline on crutches.
    While things may look bleak for Los Alamos’ outlook heading into district, the team should take some solace in knowing that it’s hardly much better for most of its 2-5A opponents.
    Excluding Española Valley, which is actually having one of the best seasons in its history so far, the district teams went a combined 4-16 in the first six weeks of 2014. The only other team besides Española Valley to win more than one nondistrict game was Capital.

  • 'Toppers, Jaguars meet in big 2-5A contest

    While saying Saturday’s boys soccer game is for all the marbles isn’t completely accurate, it’s close.
    It’s very close for Los Alamos.
    The Hilltoppers (7-7-2) will travel to unfriendly territory Saturday to meet the Capital Jaguars in Santa Fe. The Jaguars are the top team in District 2-5A and the Hilltoppers will need a big win to have any chance of knocking them off their perch.
    This is the second meeting between the two teams in district play and the third meeting of the season overall – they faced off by happenstance at the Albuquerque Academy Invitational in mid-September.
    Both of those previous meetings went in the favor of Capital.
    However, it was the Sept. 23 meeting at Sullivan Field that the Hilltoppers will have to get back at Jaguar Field. The Hilltoppers were tagged with a red card in the second half and the Jaguars took immediate advantage, scoring less than a minute later.
    Capital prevailed 2-0 on the strength of that quick goal by Jesus Garcia at the 65-minute mark and another by Alexis Romo following it about three minutes afterward.
    Prior to the red card, which put Los Alamos one player down for the balance of the contest, the team was happy with the way it had performed against a team that may be a serious Class 5A title contender this season.

  • Donations being accepted at Friday's game

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer teams will be accepting donations at Friday’s home football game that will go toward charitable organziations helping fight breast cancer.
    Representatives from the girls soccer program will be at the gate collecting donations before kickoff and at halftime. Game time is 7 p.m.

  • 'Toppers fall in 4 sets to Sundevils

    In a big early District 2-5A volleyball matchup, the Española Valley Sundevils’ high-powered offense proved to be too tough for the Los Alamos Hilltopper defense.
    The Sundevils, who are earmarked as the team to beat in the 2-5A race this season, got some big swings all night from their big hitters upfront, Elana Salazar and Kaitlyn Romero.
    Salazar, Española Valley’s primary weapon, finished with 21 spike kills as the Sundevils took Wednesday’s match at Griffith Gymnasium, 3-1.
    The Sundevils cruised to a 25-11 first set win — libero Victoria Valdez served up 12 straight points to close out that set after Los Alamos had cut a 7-point Española Valley advantage down to 1.
    Los Alamos bounced back in the second set, holding on to win 25-22, but Española Valley took sets three and four 25-17, 25-21.
    With that win, their ninth in a row, the Sundevils (10-2 overall, 2-0 in 2-5A) move into a first-place tie in the early district standings with the Bernalillo Spartans.
    Los Alamos, meanwhile, will have some catch-up work to do, work that will start Saturday when it travels to Bernalillo.

  • LA girls just 1 leg shy of trip to state

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls golf team moved one step closer to an early qualification for the state Class 5A golf tournament in a two-day event at Grants Monday and Tuesday.
    Los Alamos had the low team score at the Grants Invitational Monday, shooting a 390 at the tournament. That put them 9 shots ahead of runner-up St. Pius X.
    Jennifer Necker finished as the individual runner-up Monday, shooting an 82, which got her the second individual leg of her season — she earned a third leg and trip to the state tournament with her showing Tuesday.
    The Hilltoppers were nearly as good as a unit on day two at Coyote Del Malpais Golf Course, finishing with a 395, which was good enough for a runner-up team finish.
    Day two’s event, played at the same venue as the Grants Invitational, was dubbed the Piedra Vista Invitational. The Class 6A Cleveland Storm ran away with the girls team title Tuesday, shooting a 327.
    Los Alamos’ boys team also took part in the two tournaments. Hilltopper No. 1 player Jonathan Osden qualified for his second consecutive state tournament with his showings both days.
    Osden shot a 76 Monday to pick up his second leg of the season, then followed that up with a 78 Tuesday to earn his trip to the 5A championship tournament. The state tournaments are held in May following spring play.

  • Sundevils slip by 'Toppers in four sets

    The Espanola Valley Sundevil volleyball team picked up a key victory over Los Alamos Wednesday night at Griffith Gymnasium.

    Led by their big hitters, Elana Salazar and Kaitlyn Romero, the Sundevils knocked off the Hilltoppers at Griffith Gymnasium, 25-11, 22-25, 25-17, 25-22.

    With the loss, the Hilltoppers slip to 6-8 on the year and, more importantly, 1-1 in District 2-5A play. The Sundevils are 2-0 in district, which ties them for the district lead with Bernalillo.

    More information will be in Thursday's Los Alamos Monitor.

  • McDonald, Hilltoppers rout Knights to go to 3-0 in 2-5A

    While the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team is still a ways away from officially clinching the District 2-5A championship this season, it took a big step toward that goal Tuesday at home.
    Behind the strength of its top player, forward Catie McDonald, the Hilltoppers turned a scoreless contest into a runaway win in very short order. McDonald, one of the most prolific goal-producers in the state, had a foot in all of Los Alamos’ scores Tuesday at Sullivan Field.
    In the span of just a little more than two minutes in the first half, McDonald scored a pair of goals and assisted Sienna Ahlers on a third to send the Del Norte Knights reeling.
    Los Alamos cruised to a 5-0 victory over Del Norte, scoring twice in the second half by virtue of a goal and another assist from McDonald.
    With Tuesday’s win, the Hilltoppers (10-6 overall) completed a perfect first run through District 2-5A.
    Interestingly, Los Alamos won’t be able to clinch the title until its second meeting with the Knights Oct. 22, assuming neither it nor Del Norte stumbles against either Capital or Bernalillo, an unlikely scenario.

  • LA blows out Del Norte in 2nd half to keep pace in 2-5A

    A big win in a big game by the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team Tuesday night sets the team up with another big game this weekend.
    Los Alamos dominated in just about every way there was to dominate the Del Norte Knights at home in a critical District 2-5A contest. After pushing the ball down the field virtually at-will against the Knights in the first half, the Hilltoppers scored two quick goals to start the second half.
    The Hilltoppers earned a lopsided 6-0 victory in that game to take over sole possession of second place in the 2-5A standings.
    But now, Los Alamos must find a way to get back the game it dropped at home late last month to the Capital Jaguars. Moreover, Los Alamos will have to do it on the Jaguars’ home turf.
    But, with its current four-game win streak, momentum shouldn’t be a problem for the Hilltoppers heading in.
    “We’re coming out confident,” Los Alamos’ Eric Burnside said after the Del Norte victory. “We’re ready for this game. We want to show that we’re the better team.”
    Burnside got the ball rolling for Tuesday’s one-sided win. He scored just four minutes into the contest, that coming off an assist from Jairo Marquez.

  • LA posts big road win

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team jumped all over the Bernalillo Spartans in the first half, then cruised to an 11-1 win Saturday.
    Los Alamos scored eight goals in the first 40 minutes, then added another three goals to close out that District 2-5A contest early.
    Eric Burnside finished with four goals and an assist for Los Alamos (6-7-2) which has now won three straight decisions. Alex Csanadi and Eric Schmalz scored twice for Los Alamos, while George Steinkamp, Joe Singleton and Jairo Marquez also scored Saturday.

  • 'Topper girls thump Spartans in district

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team scored seven times in the second half of its game Saturday to trounce the Bernalillo Spartans.
    Los Alamos’ Catie McDonald tallied four goals in a big 8-0 win over the Spartans in Bernalillo. Now, the Hilltoppers need just one more win to go through the first half of District 2-5A play undefeated and get to within striking distance of a district championship.
    The Hilltoppers (9-6) will take on the Del Norte Knights, which appear to be their toughest district opponents, at 6 p.m. today at Sullivan Field. The Knights, like the Hilltoppers, are also 2-0 in 2-5A play.
    Saturday, Los Alamos got off to a surprisingly quiet start, managing just one goal in the first half against Bernalillo (1-12-1 overall), a team that has given Los Alamos little trouble in the past.
    Los Alamos led just 1-0 after 40 minutes, but in the second half, the dam burst open as the Hilltopper offense came up big to secure the win.
    McDonald, the team’s leading scorer, also had an assist to go along with her four goals. Also tallying for Los Alamos were Emily Hopkins, who scored twice, and Charlotte Leonard and Abby Schmalz, who each chipped in one goal. Schmalz also had a pair of assists.