Tiger boys soccer has no trouble beating Belen

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For 17 minutes, it looked as if the Belen-Los Lunas rivalry would be enough to keep a depleted Eagle squad in the game against the talented and experienced Tigers.

Mike Stearns-News-Bulletin photo: COUNTY RIVALS Said Aguilera of Los Lunas, left, and Antonio Baca of Belen, right, battle for the ball in last Saturday’s match dominated by Los Lunas 7-0. The Tigers host Grants on Thursday at Volunteer Field and Belen will visit Miyamura on Saturday.

Then, German Rojero put two goals past Eagle keeper Alejandro Chaves in a minute-and-a half, and Los Lunas (6-4, 1-0 in District 6-4A) was on the way to a 7-0 thrashing of Belen (1-10, 0-1) in the opening game of the district slate for both teams.

Los Lunas will host Grants on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Volunteer Field. The Eagles were set to face Gallup (0-10) on Tuesday in a game that was set to kick off after News-Bulletin press time.

After taking the 2-0 lead, Los Lunas went into a ball-control offense that completely baffled the Belen attack. The Eagles were not able to get another shot in goal while the Tigers used the possession tactic the rest of the first half.

“We have been practicing that for two weeks now,” said Tiger coach Eliseo Aguirre. “Overall, I am really happy with our effort. I will give Belen credit, they did not stop playing until the end. But I will give our boys credit, too. They worked extremely hard all day today.”

Alejandro Garcia scored just before the half to give Los Lunas a 3-0 lead at the break.

The four second half goals came in bunches. Garcia scored on a pass from Ezequil Castillo 10 minutes into the second half. Two minutes later, Said Aguilera scored to give Los Lunas a 5-0 edge. The Tigers got their last two goals in the final eight minutes. Aaron Sais scored at 72:35 and Garcia scored unassisted at 75:58.

Belen had a two-year run of winning over Los Lunas broken with Saturday’s loss.

But Aguirre noted that those games were competitive against the state finalist Eagles. Belen lost nearly all of the players on that team and are in a re-building mode with first year head coach Danny Krow.

“We have been playing Belen tough the last two years,” said Aguirre. “I remember a penalty kick shootout. They beat us, but they didn’t whoop us.”

Krow was almost at a loss for words over the tough loss. He felt bad for his young team.

“They are disgusted in themselves and the refs. But I told them that the refs are not to blame,” said Krow. “My heart just goes out to these guys. They put in the hours; but they just can’t seem to get anything going.”

He did say that even with the youth on the team, that the consistency should be better.

“We are already 11 games into the season. They should be working together as a team, for sure,” said Krow. “There was 15 minutes in the second half where we looked like a team.”

Both teams now face district foes until near the end of the regular season. After Grants, Los Lunas will host Gallup on Saturday before heading to Miyamura and playing Valencia at home next week.

“You always want to prepare yourself for district. I believe our schedule got us ready for that. It was not an easy non-district schedule. We still have a lot of work to do. We have Valencia and Miyamura coming to town and those games will not be easy,” said Aguirre.

Belen will visit Miyamura and Valencia. They return home to host Grants on Oct. 6.


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