Tiger boys, girls both shut out Gallup in home matches

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The Los Lunas boys soccer team performed a trick not often seen in boys high school soccer. The Tigers posted a 10-0 win that had the game stopped by halftime, according to the New Mexico Activities Association “mercy-rule.”

The Lady Tigers also had an easy time with the visiting Bengals, winning a 5-0 match.

Mike Stearns-News-Bulletin photo: Mario E. Garcia, left, tries to get around a Gallup player in Saturday’s match. The Tigers are set to host Grants at 4 p.m. Thursday and Valencia at 11 a.m. Saturday.

It will be a busy week for both Los Lunas clubs. The teams were scheduled to play at Miyamura in games set to kick off after News-Bulletin press time on Tuesday.

Thursday, Grants will be at Volunteer field for boys and girls simultaneous matches that are scheduled for 4 p.m.

On Saturday, the girls host Valencia and the boys travel to face the Jaguars. Both games kick at 11 a.m.

In the mercy rule contest, games have to be played through the first half. The Tiger boys could have put up several more goals, if not for the play of Gallup goaltender Issac Sesler, who stopped several shots at point-blank range.

Sesler had 11 saves, but his teammates could not put even one shot on goal.

It is not uncommon to see a game stopped by reaching a 10-point win, but it rarely happens in just one half.

Los Lunas scored five goals in the first 10 minutes. “Give the kids credits. They worked hard all week in practice to get that passing down,” said Tiger boys coach Eliseo Aguirre. “Give their kids credit, too. They did not stop playing hard until the end of the game.”

Sophomore Alejandro Garcia led the way with four goals and an assist. Martin Saenz and Jesus Villa each had two goals, while Mario Garcia and Said Aguilera added a goal each. Saenz had three assists and Gustavo Muñoz assisted in two Tiger tallies.

Mike Stearns-News-Bulletin photo: Analyssa Lopez, right, tries to keep a Gallup player at bay in Saturday’s match. The Tigers are set to host Grants at 4 p.m. Thursday and Valencia at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Aguirre would have liked to see his team use the possession passing game a little more after building the big lead.

“In the middle of this game, it was not the way I like it because we were not possessing the ball,” said Aguirre. “We were looking for the long ball. Against good teams, we cannot do that.”

In the girls contest, Los Lunas got the game’s opening goal in the fifth minute and used a crisp passing game to control the contest throughout.

Samantha Lucero fed the ball into ReAnna Torres for the first goal. Lucero scored the third goal for Los Lunas on an Ashleigh Lyons’ assist and got the final goal in the second half unassisted.

Analyssa Lopez scored in the 15th minute to make it 2-0 on a pass from Karina Muñoz.

The final goal of the first half came on a corner kick that Lyons redirected with a touch-in for the goal. Los Lunas led at the break 4-0.

“We came out since the opening kickoff and played the game at our pace. We created a lot of good opportunities,” said coach James Torres. “I told them if we do that then we will see the ball starting to hit the back of the net.”

Torres noted that the busy week will not change the team’s resolve to go into each district contest expecting a win, including the Valencia match.

“It is just as important as any other game we play in district. We look at who are their offensive weapons are, and how can we neutralize them,” said Torres.


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