Soccer: LA girls take on Broncos in 1st round

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By Mike Cote

While the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team fell in about where it expected to in the Class AAAA state tournament bracket, the fates of some other teams turned out to be a bit different.
Los Alamos was awarded the sixth seed in the Class AAAA championship bracket, which was released Sunday. The AAAA state tournament gets going Friday and continues through Nov. 6 with the state title game.
The Hilltoppers missed out on one of the top four seeds, which would’ve come with an automatic bid into the playoff quarterfinals, but that didn’t seem to be much of an issue.
“We’re playing good,” Los Alamos head coach Jiri Kubicek said. “I think we need some more games. We’ve got a couple of kids that are coming back from injuries. They started practicing with us (Monday).”
Los Alamos will open its state tournament run Saturday when it hosts Kirtland Central. Game time is set for 4 p.m. at Sullivan Field.
Not surprisingly, the Albuquerque Academy Chargers, the two-time defending Class AAAA champions, earned the No. 1 seed in the 2010 bracket.
However, Kubicek did express some surprise with the rest of the top four.
Landing at No. 2 in the bracket was Aztec, which got that spot just a day after falling to Los Alamos in the season finale.
Farmington, at No. 3, was vanquished by Academy 6-0 Oct. 16 in Albuquerque and fourth-seeded Miyamura posted a solid 16-4 record but had few wins against teams that made the postseason.
Going into the final weekend of the seeding, Los Alamos was probably looking at around a sixth seed for the state tournament, but felt it had a chance to improve its outlook with games against St. Michael’s and Aztec, both of which it won.
Despite those wins, Los Alamos’ stock didn’t rise any.
“It didn’t help anybody, look at what happened,” Kubicek said. “I’m very happy with how we ended. With the seeding, Academy and St. Pius could meet in the semifinals. That’s a big thing.”
Los Alamos ended up on the other side of the bracket as both the Chargers and the fifth-seeded Sartans. The Hilltoppers met and lost to both teams during the regular season.
The winner of Saturday’s game at Sullivan Field will advance to play Farmington’s Scorpions. The Hilltoppers and Scorpions met early in the season with the Scorpions taking a 1-0 victory in the Four Cormers area, while the Scorpions and Broncos are also familiar with each other, with both teams playing in District 1AAAA.
District 1 placed four teams into the 12-team bracket this season, Aztec and 12th-seeded Piedra Vista also made the cut.
Los Alamos, meanwhile, was the only team from 2AAAA selected this season. It has been the district’s only representative every year since St. Pius X left the district after the 2005 season.
The Hilltoppers went to overtime in both games this weekend.
Early in overtime against St. Michael’s, Los Alamos’ Amy Neal raced down for a quick score to give her team a 2-1 victory. Against Aztec, the two teams went to a shootout, in which Los Alamos prevailed 4-1.

NOTE: Both the Hilltoper girls and boys games are scheduled for Saturday at Sullivan Field. At the conclusion of the boys game, the stadium will be cleared. Tickets are $5 per person for each game. No school passes will be accepted for either game.