Jaguar boys adjust lineup, and win

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No matter what the Valencia High boys soccer team does, it can't seem to find a time to play Bernalillo.

The match with the Spartans was put off for the second time this season when rain postponed the Thursday contest to Oct. 18.

It left the Jags with just a single contest in the week of the return of head coach Eric Gutierrez from a one-game suspension.

The Jags (3-2) were highly-motivated in a 2-0 win over Roswell (6-5) on Tuesday afternoon.

Valencia faces West Mesa at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the APS Soccer Complex and begins District 6-4A play at Gallup on Saturday, Sept. 22.

Against Roswell, Diego Ramirez scored his first goal of the season to break a scoreless tie six minutes into the second half on Tuesday.

Gutierrez noted that he has been trying to get some more opportunities for the talented senior, who scored eight goals last season. Gutierrez moved him to the head of the diamond offense against the Coyotes.

"I put Diego up top, and it worked. He got his first goal, finally," said the Jag coach.

Gutierrez also said that the team has begun to communicate well.

"We are finally together. We are all synchronized now," said Gutierrez.

Manuel Chavez added an insurance goal in the 64th minute on a feed from Alan Ramirez.

The 2-0 score held up in large part because Valencia continued to play aggressive soccer and not sit on the lead, even in the final two minutes.

"That is something that is special to this group. It has been like that the last few years," said the Valencia coach. "They push themselves until the win is complete."

The Jags held Roswell to just five shots on goal in a match where they mostly controlled the midfield.

Goaltender Jose Gonzalez stopped all five shots in the shutout.

Gutierrez missed the previous match against Artesia because an eighth-grade player played before having enough practice time logged.

"We are moving forward, and now, we are more careful," said Gutierrez. "A lot more careful."


-- Email the author at mstearns@news-bulletin.com.