Tiger boys are No. 6 seed; will host STHS

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Even though the Los Lunas boys soccer team isn’t going into the state tournament on a winning note, the Tigers got some good news last weekend.

After blowing a second-half lead in a 3-2 loss to the Class 1A/3A third-seed Bosque (15-5) on Friday, the Tigers learned Sunday afternoon that they were named the No. 6 seed among the 12 teams in the Class 4A playoff bracket.

News-Bulletin file photo: Mario E. Garcia and the rest of the Los Lunas Tigers are set to host Santa Teresa in a first-round state tournament match at 4 p.m. Friday.

Los Lunas (14-6) will host the Desert Warriors of Santa Teresa (10-10) at 4 p.m. Friday.

“As far as I know, they are going to come in to be competitive,” said Los Lunas coach Eliseo Aguirre. “They are a quality team, because they made the state playoffs. I expect a really good game.”

The winner of the match will move on to the quarterfinals against No. 3 Los Alamos on Thursday, Nov. 8, at the APS Soccer Complex. The top four seeds get byes in the first round.

“It was a fair seed,” said Aguirre of the Tigers’ No. 6 seed. “They had it all lined out, and with St. Pius being (No.) 5, I don’t think we could go higher than that, because they beat us.”

Roswell will take on Santa Fe on Saturday with the winner moving on to face No. 2 Chaparral. The team to advance in that part of the bracket would be a possible semifinal opponent for Los Lunas, should the Tigers advance that far.

The Tigers have just claimed their first district title in program history. They went 9-1 in District 6-4A, and were one of only two teams in the district to get into state.

Miyamura, the 6-4A runner-up, got the 12th and final seed. Third-place Valencia (10-8) was left out of the bracket.

Aguirre says central New Mexico soccer needs respect.

“I do not,” said Aguirre when asked if the district got their just due. “I believe that Valencia deserved to get in. They beat Roswell and Capital. They needed to get in somewhere. I thought Miyamura should have been up at nine or 10. We have to go out and earn that respect, too.”

Aguirre likes the seeding the Tigers received.

“I will talk about our side of the bracket. I think we have a good shot at making a decent run,” said the Los Lunas coach. “I like our side. It gives us an opportunity to do great things. Now, we just have to go out and do it.”

Despite falling to Bosque, Aguirre sees his team playing very solid ball right now.

“As a coach, I am never happy,” he said, half-joking. “We did not control the passing game as good as we wanted to, but you have to consider the (caliber) of opponent we played.

“The passing game, if we continue to pass the ball the way we have the last few weeks, we will be fine. But there is always little things to be working on.”

The coach noted that the goalkeeping has been consistent all year.

“The defense has been consistent,” Aguirre said. “We need to take that consistent play and move it up a notch. I would say that we are at about an eight. Now, it is time to see that nine- or 10-type effort in the playoffs.”


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