Valencia boys to host the Patriots
Not only is the Valencia High boys soccer team finally have all of its main players healthy, but it's going into Saturday's match with a healthy win behind it.
The Jaguars rolled to a 9-0 home win Tuesday over Gallup, scoring seven times in the second half. That made Valencia 7-6 overall and 3-3 in District 6-4A, with an 11 a.m. home match against Miyamura set for Saturday.
"We have two players, Josh (Otero) and Joel (Molina), that are finally playing, who I feel make a difference in the game," said VHS coach Eric Gutierrez. "We have really grown as a team in the past couple of weeks."
The Jags were coming off a frustrating 3-2 loss last Saturday at Los Lunas High, losing to their chief rivals and blowing a 2-0 lead that they had with 22 minutes left. The Jags had already beaten Gallup 10-0 in their first meeting with the Bengals (0-15, 0-6), so Tuesday was about playing well and making quick work of Gallup.
Jose Galaviz scored in the 21st minute, with Andrew Snider putting in Valencia's second goal about five minutes later.
The score didn't change until the second minute of the second half, when Molina scored the first of his three goals. He assisted on one of Alan Ramirez's two goals, and Alejandro Rodriguez assisted on Molina's final tally in the 63rd minute.
Even Jaguar goalkeeper Jose Gonzalez got into the scoring column, putting one in with about 10 minutes left in the match.
Diego Ramirez got his lone goal in the 79th minute. The notes next to his goal in the VHS scorebook read "took whole team."
Valencia outshot the Bengals 15-0 in the match. The comfortable win allowed the Jags to talk about Miyamura.
VHS lost 3-2 to the Patriots in Gallup on Sept. 25. Gutierrez was given a red card in that match after dialogue with the referee, and Miyamura scored the winning goal in the final minutes.
On Tuesday, the Jags are set to host Valencia for a 4 p.m. match, with Bernalillo coming to VHS on Thursday for a non-district contest. Valencia visits Belen on Saturday, Oct. 20.
The Miyamura rematch will make an impact on whether the Jags can earn their third playoff appearance in four years. Gutierrez said it's important to not lose focus.
"We are just going to play tough," said Gutierrez. "We have to really play our game, and not get sucked into their long-ball style of game."