Toppers struggle but pick up 2-4A crown at Santa Fe

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Girls soccer: LA’s 41-game shutout streak snapped in first half Tuesday

By The Staff

The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team officially clinched their sixth consecutive District 2-4A title with its victory over the Santa Fe Demons Tuesday.
Amy Neal scored twice for Los Alamos while Meghan McDonald picked up a goal and an assist as the Hilltoppers earned a 4-1 victory over the Demons. The win put the Hilltoppers at 5-0 in District 2-4A play (14-3 overall) and put the finishing touch on their district crown.
While Los Alamos’ continued domination of 2-4A this year came as no surprise, Santa Fe (7-9 overall, 2-3 in district) gave Los Alamos as much of a run for its money in their two games as any team has done since 2007.
The last time the Hilltoppers had allowed a goal in 2-4A play was in 2006.
Late in the first half, Santa Fe’s Elena Lemus scored on a rebounded indirect kick that came from about 30 yards out toward the goal mouth to snap the Hilltoppers’ streak of 41 consecutive district shutouts.
The goal by Santa Fe made the score 2-1 at halftime. Los Alamos picked up two goals in the second half, however, to end any hope the Demons may have had for an upset. Neal and McDonald both scored in the second half, with McDonald assisting Neal on her goal and Jordan Ahlers assisting McDonald on hers.
For her effort, McDonald was given the coaches’ Player of the Game nod.
The Hilltoppers have just three games remaining on their regular season schedule — with Tuesday’s win, Los Alamos earned an automatic bid into the Class 4A playoffs. Of the remaining games, two will be against tougher opponents than the Hilltoppers saw in 2-4A play, including Saturday’s game at Piedra Vista.
Los Alamos head coach Jiri Kubicek said his team will have to play much better than it did against Santa Fe to impress the Class 4A seeding committee.
“(Piedra Vista’s) going to be solid,” Kubicek said. “They have a couple of fast players. If we can manage to contain their strikers and their middle, we’ll do well. But we have to improve the way we play.”
Los Alamos had 23 shots against Santa Fe, including four uncontested shots that went straight at the Demon goalkeeper.
Julia Haagenstaad had the second goal of the first half for Los Alamos and Chandler Art and Leslie Guarello both earned assists Tuesday.
With 11 days before the 4A postseason brackets are revealed, the Hilltoppers are still ranked No.1 according the MaxPreps website.