Lady Eagles blank Los Lunas; will host the district leaders on Tuesday

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Los Lunas had hopes of avenging an overtime loss and shaking off another overtime loss from the weekend when they took on host Belen in a key District 6-4A girls soccer match on Tuesday.

All of their hopes got dashed in the first 1 minute and 10 seconds of Tuesday’s match, as Belen got a penalty kick goal from Kaitlyn D’Arcangeli on the way to a 4-0 win.

Mike Stearns-News-Bulletin photo: Belen’s Ari Valdez, left, races past Sarahi Boyso of Los Lunas in Tuesday’s match. Belen shut out the Lady Tigers, 4-0, and is set to face Gallup on the road Saturday and to host district leader Miyamura at home at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Los Lunas travels to Grants on Saturday and to Gallup on Tuesday.

Belen (8-7 overall, 6-1 in District 6-4A) can realize some steps toward their hope of a district title in traveling to face Gallup (4-12), who is winless in district, on Saturday and then return home to take on Miyamura (10-6, 6-0) on Tuesday. The home match is slated for a 4 p.m. kickoff.

D’Arcangeli, who scored twice against Los Lunas (6-8, 2-4), is ready for the opportunity to upend the Patriots on the Eagles’ home pitch to tie the district race.

“For me, as a senior, it is very important to me,” D’Arcangeli said. “We are just going to go out and play our hardest. That is all that we really can do.”

Los Lunas coach James Torres knows that the Tigers need to right the ship after losing focus in Tuesday’s loss after a tough defeat at Valencia, 3-2 in overtime.

“We need to keep our eye on the next game,” said Torres. “We have to realize that every game counts for a win in the standings, same as every other game. We basically have to play to win every game.”

In Tuesday’s contest, Alexis Begay scored on a breakaway in the 12th minute and added a goal to start the second half in the 44th minute.

D’Arcangeli got the final Belen tally in the 64th minute as she faked right, spun left and hit from just outside of the penalty box.

But for Torres, the first goal pretty much put the game out of reach.

“We came out pretty solid after the kickoff. We had a good possession and got a bad hop,” said Torres, explaining the breakaway and subsequent foul of Begay that set up the penalty kick.

“When they got that goal, it kind of took away our energy and we had a little bit of panic,” Torres said. “We stopped playing the possession game and it definitely affected us, for sure.”

Los Lunas gets a break in the schedule by visiting Grants on Saturday and then taking a trip to Gallup on Tuesday. It will be a tough travel week, but the competition should see the Tigers even their district mark.

D’Arcangeli credited her sister, Belen assistant coach Candice D’Arcangeli, with help in getting the two scoring shots.

“With my sister being the coach, she always tells me to aim low, aim low. So, I aimed low and it went in,” said the Eagle senior.

The second shot came at her sister’s encouragement, too.

“I was at the 18 and she said shoot the ball. I did and it went in. It was nice to have,” said D’Arcangeli.

Eagle coach Wilfred Carrasco was glad the team converted the early goal. His Eagles kept up the pressure and allowed very little in the way of Los Lunas possessions in the Belen end.

“Our team understands that we need to continue to work hard in practice, and attempt to improve each game. We are taking each game seriously and our goal is to finish strong,” said Carrasco.


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