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LAHS soccer teams prepare for state tournaments

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By Phil Scherer

As has become a yearly occurrence at Los Alamos High School, both soccer teams have made the state soccer tournament. The Hilltopper girls earned the No. 4 seed and the boys earned the No. 5 seed, as both teams were rewarded for highly successful seasons. 

By earning the No. 4 seed, the LAHS girls have a bye to the quarterfinals, which will be played Nov. 7 at the Bernalillo Soccer Complex. The Hilltoppers went 14-5 in the regular season, including impressive wins against St. Michael’s, Farmington and Aztec. 

In district play, the Hilltoppers dominated, going 6-0 and outscoring opponents 48-1. 

Oct. 28’s 5-0 home win against Aztec proved to be key for the Hilltoppers, as LAHS and Aztec entered the game ranked No. 4 and No. 5 in the state, respectively. 

With the win, LAHS wrapped up the No. 4 seed, while Aztec will have to play a first round home game this weekend against Santa Teresa. 

The winner of that game will face off against LAHS in the quarterfinals. 

Also receiving a bye to the quarterfinals are No. 1 seed Albuquerque Academy, No. 2 seed St. Pius and No. 3 seed Hope Christian.

Academy and Pius have both defeated the Hilltoppers this season.

In the boys tournament, the Hilltoppers will get the tournament started at 1 p.m. Saturday at home against No. 12 seed Goddard after earning the No. 5 seed. Despite an impressive 13-6-1 record, LAHS was hurt in the rankings by losses to Albuquerque Academy, St. Pius and Hope Christian, all teams that also made the state soccer tournament. 

A strong district season, in which LAHS went 5-0-1, helped stabilize the season and get the Hilltoppers headed in the right direction headed into the tournament. 

In an earlier matchup this season against Goddard at the Albuquerque Academy Tournament, the Hilltoppers won 5-2 behind goals by Steinkamp, Aiden Semelsberger, Dakota Duran, Cade Cummins and Nilesh Mukundan. 

Steinkamp enters the tournament on the best offensive stretch of his high school career. He leads the state with 36 goals this season, including 25 in his last six games. 

The winner of the game between LAHS and Goddard will take on No. 4 seed Chaparral in the quarterfinals.

St. Pius is the No. 1 seed, Albuquerque Academy is the No. 2 seed and Santa Teresa is the No. 3 seed at the tournament. 

Last year, the Hilltopper girls advanced to the state championship game, and the boys were semifinalists. Both teams were eliminated by Albuquerque Academy.