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  • Coyotes score goal in OT vs. ’Toppers

    For the third time in a calendar year, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team met the Roswell Coyotes.
    And for the third time, the Coyotes prevailed.
    The Coyotes, who won the Class 4A state championship in 2013, topping the Hilltoppers in the semifinals en route to the crown, showed off their potent attack Saturday in the semifinals of the Louie Cernicek Invitational.
    However, Los Alamos goalkeeper Chris Parker was up to the task for most the meeting.
    The two teams went into overtime, but in the second overtime period, Roswell’s Chris Mesquita crushed a left-footer just inside the far post to give his team a 2-1 win and get the Coyotes to their second straight Cernicek tournament final.
    Saturday evening’s tournament championship game hadn’t been completed as of press time.
    The Coyotes won the Cernicek tournament in 2013, topping Los Alamos 6-2 in the championship.
    Los Alamos had a 1-man advantage for much of the contest. At the 26-minute mark, Roswell forward Anthony Valadez was slapped with a red card for running over Parker near the goal mouth, negating an apparent Coyote goal.

  • Miscues prove costly in LA’s opener

    It wasn’t a secret heading into Friday night’s game that the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team was a work in progress.
    But, judging from its performance Friday, there is no shortage of things for Los Alamos to work on or progress to be made.
    The Hilltoppers struggled to get their running game established, particularly the option, struggled with snapping the ball from their bread-and-butter pistol formation, and struggled for a good chunk of the night on defense against the Pojoaque Valley Elks.
    The Hilltoppers fell to the Elks in their 2014 opener, 18-6 at Sullivan Field.
    They were outgained by more than 2-to-1 on the offensive side and gave up too many big plays.
    Perhaps the backbreaker came in the third quarter, however. Pojoaque Valley quarterback Chris Quintana, who had been the piston driving the offense up to that point, was ejected from the ballgame on a late hit against Los Alamos defensive tackle Andres Dow with 4:05 left.
    Cold second-string quarterback Royce Nez came in from the bench. But on his first snap, a third-and-42 situation, Los Alamos retreated into deep coverage while Nez handed the ball off to tailback Darren Montoya. Montoya went untouched to near the first-down marker, bounced off three potential tacklers and scampered into the end zone.

  • Fencing class to return Tuesday

    The Family YMCA of Los Alamos will resume its fencing class starting Tuesday.

    The class will be only for fencers with previous experience. It will consist of 30 minutes of combined drills, followed by 30 minutes of bouting or individual instruction. There won’t be a class for beginning fencers until February or March.
    For more information, call instructor Tom Hill at 672-1058.

  • LA earns blowout win over Moriarty

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team did a number on the Moriarty Pintos Thursday night. A big number.
    The Hilltoppers scored 11 times in the first half en route to their first win of the 2014 season. Catie McDonald and Sienna Ahlers each scored four goals as the Hilltopper blasted the Pintos 11-0 in Moriarty.
    The two teams have met several times in the recent past, usually early in the season and usually with similar results.
    Los Alamos (1-2) wasted no time getting on the board, scoring its first goal inside of three minutes. Moriarty (1-1) for its part, never got a shot off Thursday.
    While breaking into the win column for the first time as part of his new gig was nice for Los Alamos head coach AJ Herrera, he more importantly wanted to see his team play a complete contest, which it did.
    “It’s easy to lower your level of play because the competition is not that good,” Herrera said. “We wanted to continue a high level of play. We were very consistent. We still have a lot to work on for what we want to accomplish this year.”
    Along with her four goals, giving her 8 total for the season, McDonald, who will likely finish among the most prolific scorers in the state, also earned two assists.

  • 'Toppers blank Rockets Friday, 1-0

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team not only picked up its first win of the year Friday morning, but also advanced to the second round of the Louie Cernicek Invitational.
    Early in the first half, the Hilltoppers scored what would be the lone goal of the contest against the Goddard Rockets. The Rockets had some chances in the second half, but the Hilltoppers made that advantage stand up, winning 1-0 at Sullivan Field.
    Los Alamos (1-1) will now advance to the semifinal round, which is scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday at Sullivan Field.
    The only score of the game came just seven minutes into the contest on a nice run down the middle by Eric Burnside.
    Burnside beat out the collapsing defense to a ground ball, which he picked up at the top of the penalty box, and went to the right post to beat Miguel Robles.
    Robels, a solid goalkeeper with a big leg — he took several of the Rockets’ free kicks during the contest — had no chance at Burnside’s shot.
    For the game, the Hilltoppers got off 11 shots, although three of those came in quick succession with just about four minutes remaining.

  • Hilltoppers have a lot to prove

    There is no shortage of things to prove for the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team heading into the 2014 season.
    Los Alamos will have a new, solid district opponent this season, a revamped backfield and, most notably, a new signal-caller heading into the opener.
    The Hilltoppers open their season Friday night when they take on the Pojoaque Valley Elks at 7 p.m. at Sullivan Field.
    Along with all the issues so far, Los Alamos’ turnout for the opening day of football practice was skimpy. The number has improved over the course of the preseason — there are now 30 players on the team’s regular roster.
    Hilltopper head coach Garett Williams said that while it’s not a huge group, it’s one with some experience coming back, particularly at the line of scrimmage. Offensive line fixtures Jonathan Schueler, John Dermer and Zack Sturgeon should help make the transition on offense go a little more smoothly.
    Los Alamos features 17 seniors heading into the opener, almost all of which have played regularly at one time during their Hilltopper careers.

  • LA to meet Goddard in opening round

    There’s been a change of plans for the opening round of the Louie Cernicek Invitational.
    The Cernicek Invitational tournament is one of the big early-season tournaments around the state and his hosted annually by the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team.
    Due to some logistical challenges — five of the eight teams in this year’s field are traveling a long way to attend — the Goddard Rockets will be the first team up for the Hilltoppers Friday morning. Originally, the Hilltoppers were scheduled to face the Santa Fe Prep Blue Griffins to open the tournament.
    Games this year will be played at both Sullivan Field and at Los Alamos Middle School.
    The Hilltopper-Rocket contest will be a rematch of their first round Cernicek game in 2013. That game went right down to the wire before Los Alamos prevailed.
    “That game went into PKs (penalty kicks),” Los Alamos head coach Evan Gartz said. “I’m going to remind the boys about that. That game should’ve never gone into PKs.”
    After that tough contest, which Goddard led 2-1 until the final two minutes of regulation, Los Alamos topped Clovis in the semifinal round before getting hammered 6-2 in the championship game against Roswell.

  • Sports Briefs 08-27-14

    Gattiker is top predictor at Pace Race

    Katie Gattiker was the top predictor in this week’s Pace Race.
    The Pace Race, hosted by the Atomic City Roadrunners, was Tuesday night. It was held on the trail behind the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center.
    Gattiker earned the win with her prediction error of just five seconds. That prediction beat Jessica Baumgaertel, who was second with a 48-second differential and Jackie Marr, who was off by 92 seconds.
    Marr was the top female finisher on the 1-mile paved course with her time of 14 minutes, 6 seconds. Diego Leonard, who is 4 years old, finished with a time of 12:29 on the paved course.
    On the 3-mile paved course, Nikol Strother was the fastest finisher (19:57). Ted Romero had the top finish on the 3.4-mile trail course and Bob Weeks was the fastest finisher on the 1-mile paved course (16:17).
    The next Pace Race will be Tuesday. The race will start at the Estante Way Trailhead in White Rock.
    For more information, call 672-1639 or visit the club’s website, atomicrunners.com.

    Isotopes drop another contest

  • 'Toppers fall to Bobcats in overtime

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team earned a late goal from its top player to force overtime against the Bosque School Bobcats in its home opener Tuesday.
    Unfortunately, the Bobcats pounced in overtime to spoil the Hilltoppers home debut.
    After a relatively uneventful first half, Bosque scored early in the second half to take a 1-0 lead, then with about 15 minutes left in regulation, added a go-ahead goal which appeared like it would hold up.
    However, with just seconds left in regulation, Los Alamos’ top scorer, Catie McDonald, scored off a direct kick chance from the right side of the goal to tie the score at 2 and force overtime.
    In overtime, Bosque returned the favor, scoring from 25 yards out on a direct kick to earn the victory.
    Despite his team slipping to 0-2 on the young season, Los Alamos head coach AJ Herrera said he likes most of what he’s seen so far.
    “We felt like we dominated,” he said. “But right now we have to tighten up some loose ends.”

  • LA drops season opener to Bosque

    In time, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team may turn some heads. But the 2014 season opener was not one of those times.
    Los Alamos dropped its season opener at Sullivan Field Tuesday to the Bosque School Bobcats. The Bobcats, a very tough program, picked up a goal in each half and, after an initial offensive push by the Hilltoppers, limited the home team’s chances in a 2-0 victory.
    There was nothing alarming about Tuesday’s loss, Hilltopper head coach Evan Gartz said, but there wasn’t much that impressed him, either.
    “It was an OK game,” he said. “Their goals were mistakes of ours. Those were things that are correctable, which is nice.”
    Gartz said a defensive breakdown led to the first Bobcat goal, something which is inclined to happen to teams early in the season. The second goal, however, was a little less acceptable.
    In the second half, Bosque was awarded a corner kick. The kick sailed over the heads of three Hilltopper players and to the far post, where it was knocked in.
    Los Alamos had a notable height advantage over the Bobcats (2-0), but the Bobcats were consistently beating the Hilltoppers to balls in the air, something that displeased Gartz.