Belen boys upset Patriots; tied for third place in district

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In one of the biggest upsets in the 2012-13 District 6-4A boys soccer season, the Belen boys held Miyamura scoreless throughout most of the match. Two goals from freshman Chris Lovato in the last 12 minutes helped the Eagles beat the then-first-place Patriots, 2-1.

The win left Belen (5-13) tied with Valencia (8-7) in the 6-4A standings at 4-4 in third place. Los Lunas (12-5, 7-1) moves into first place and Miyamura (11-4, 6-2) drops to second with two games left on the regular-season district schedule.

Mike Stearns-News-Bulletin photo: Chance Cannon, right, tries to get around a Miyamura defender in Tuesday’s match. The Eagle boys upset the Patriots, 2-1, to change the District 6-4A race. The Eagles host Valencia at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Belen finishes by hosting Valencia on Saturday and visiting Grants on Tuesday. The Eagles lost a close 3-2 match at Valencia earlier in the season.

Belen coach Danny Krow noted that the team has improved since his team lost on the road to Miyamura, 5-1, earlier in the season.

“That was a real good game,” said Krow of the unexpected Eagle win.

“Really, the first time we played them it should have been more like this than the 5-1 score. Luckily, we came out and started well from the first whistle, until the last.”

Belen played amazing defense in the face of being outshot, 24-8.

Lovato explained that his team played inspired and did not let the Patriots use their long passing game to score.

“The big difference was keeping everyone compact,” he said. “We kept the game in front of us and didn’t let them get behind us. We made them pay.”

Lovato got the first score of the match on a penalty kick that he directed to the far right corner in the 68th minute. His second came five minutes later off an assist from Jesse Monge that Lovato headed past the goalkeeper and by a defender to put the Eagles up, 2-1.

“Personally, I can out-jump anyone on that team,” Lovato said. “I knew exactly where the keeper was, and where the other defender was and I just placed it.”

Krow knows how critical these last two regular season matches might be — not just for the Eagles’ outside chance at a playoff bid, but also for overall program momentum.

“I could not be prouder of them,” said the first-year Eagle coach.

“Right now, we have to focus on Valencia. We can’t wait 10 minutes; we can’t wait 15. We have to start from the first whistle.”


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