Girl's soccer gets back in win column

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By Phil Scherer

The hot start to the season continued for the Los Alamos High School varsity girl’s soccer team Tuesday evening as they defeated Taos High School 10-4 at Sullivan Field.

The Hilltoppers entered the game looking to get back in the win column, following their double overtime loss to St. Michael’s High School on the road Aug. 31.

In the early going, it appeared LAHS might be in a bit of trouble, as Taos took a 1-0 lead just nine minutes into the game. Hilltopper goalkeeper Ashley Atencio misplayed a shot taken by Taos striker Cora Cannedy and watched it sneak into the back of the net.

The Hilltoppers responded quickly and aggressively, however. Alissia Haagenstaad tied the score in the 15th minute, and Alyssa Parker gave them the lead six minutes later.

Head coach Ann Cernicek was impressed by the response, and feels it bodes well for them moving forward.

“That is so mental,” Cernicek said. “They don’t let that kind of stuff get them down. They know they can score. They know they can get back down the field and they know our game plan. So I was glad to see that response.”

Cernicek added that she feels the best kinds of teams are the ones who show an ability to come back when they go down, and don’t let the score change the way they play the game.

LAHS continued to add on throughout the first half, as Parker scored her second goal of the game just three minutes later.

Two additional first half goals by Kaitlyn McGrane and one by Vianey Terrazas allowed the Hilltoppers to take a 6-1 lead.

Taos answered back with a pair of penalty shot goals right before the end of the half to trim the LAHS lead to 6-3 going into the intermission.

After the break, Taos narrowed the lead once again, as new goalkeeper Annika Fox was beaten to a loose ball and allowed it to roll past her and into an empty net and trim the lead to 6-4.

This seemed to re-energize the Hilltoppers, however, as they answered back with four goals of their own to create some breathing room on the scoreboard.

Elsa Gram scored two goals in the second half, and Alix Hailey and Haagenstaad added one apiece.

“The girls were really able to stick to the game plan today,” Cernicek said. “They showed a lot of focus and confidence to not get rattled. The composure of this team is something I have been truly impressed with.”

Cernicek also praised the depth of the team, particularly on the offensive side.

“There is a ton of depth, and that allows us to continue to look at different combinations to see what is going to work best for us,” Cernicek said.

She feels this will allow the team to compete against championship-caliber teams.

The Hilltoppers are now 5-1 this season, and have outscored their opponents 40-13.

They will be competing at the Albuquerque Academy Tournament this weekend, which will provide the team with its toughest competition so far this season.