Tigers notch notable win over St. Pius X


The Los Lunas Tigers tallied the first notable win of the young season this week as all three county boys soccer teams began pre-district play.

The Los Lunas boys soccer team made a statement Tuesday, Aug. 27, defeating perennial Class 4A state power Albuquerque St. Pius X 2-1 at Volunteer Field in Los Lunas to run their record to 2-0 on the season before falling 3-2 to Hope Christian in Albuquerque on Tuesday.

Kenn Rodriguez-News-Bulletin photo: BELEN GOALKEEPER Alejandro Sanchez makes a save against Hope Christian on Tuesday, Aug. 27.

Against St. Pius, freshman Yain Rodriguez scored an early goal and junior Oscar Davila notched the game winner in the 34th minute as Davila and the Los Lunas defense were able to contain and frustrate the Sartans in the first half.

St. Pius (0-1) got a goal back in 54th minute of the second half but wasn’t able to find the equalizer in the final.

Coach Daniel Martinez said he talked to his team at halftime about protecting the lead from a possible Sartan surge and his team responded well.

“The ability for our team to execute was definitely a big step forward,” he said. “Knowing that in a close game we can pull it out and hold together is big thing.”

“In years past, this team might have broken down and other teams would score and even win,” he said. “The ability to do this, this time, was a big step.”

The Tigers started the season Thursday, Aug. 22, going on the road to Moriarty and easily dispatching the Pintos 8-1, as senior Alejandro Garcia scored six goals and newcomer Chris Lovato tallied two more goals and picked up four assists for the game.

Kenn Rodriguez-News-Bulletin photo: MANUEL CHAVEZ, left, of Valencia High fights for a loose ball with a Socorro defender during the Jaguars’ 7-0 win over the Warriors on Tuesday, Aug 27.

The Tigers outshot Moriarty 22-5 for the game and controlled the tempo while working on their possession game.

The Tigers next travel to Carlsbad to play the Cavemen on Friday.

Look for a recap of this week’s matches in next week’s News-Bulletin.

The Valencia boys scored four first-half goals and were dominant in defeating Socorro 7-0 on Tuesday, Aug. 27, but fell 3-0 at Artesia Saturday, Aug. 31.

Against Socorro, sophomores Edgar Rivas and Cristian Garcia each scored a pair of goals as the Jaguars scored three goals in the first eight minutes of the game and never looked back, handing the Warriors from Class A-3A their first loss of the season.

“That’s how it should look,” said coach Eric Gutierrez. “We’ve been practicing our possessions and practicing our passes. That’s why I feel we dominated. If you keep the ball, you tell the other team what’s going on.”

Valencia (1-1) was able to hold possession as play centered mainly in the Warriors’ half of the field for much of the game. The Jags defense was so stout that Socorro did not manage a single shot on goal. Junior midfielders David Acosta and Manuel Chavez and senior Alan Ramirez each added a goal in the win.

Of the win, Rivas said, “7-0 is hard to do and Socorro is really strong and they have heart.”

“They never gave up, so a win like this is good for us,” he said.

Socorro falls to 2-1 with the loss. Artesia stands at 3-1 on the season.

Valencia travels to Roswell this weekend for the Roswell Coyote Tournament before returning home to play Bernalillo on Sept. 12.

The Belen boys won one of three games at the Louis Cernicek Tournament in Los Alamos over the weekend. The young Eagles lost to Roswell 10-0 in their opening game last Friday afternoon but bounced back with a 3-2 extra time win over Bernalillo Friday night. Belen then fell 6-1 to Roswell in the consolation championship game, claiming sixth place.

After being held scoreless in game one, the Eagles had a back-and-forth battle in the rain with the Spartans, equalizing twice in the second half on goals from Rudolfo Gallegos in the 53rd and Ricardo Aguillera in the 64th minute before Hector Varela found the game-winner in the 12th minute of extra time.

Against Goddard on Saturday, Belen trailed 2-0 at halftime before Francisco Quecada scored in the 48th minute to cut the lead to 2-1. The Rockets then turned up their game to take a 6-1 win.

Coach Danny Krow said he was happy with his team’s performance for the weekend.

“We just need to get some experience on the field for these kids,” he said. “We just need to get time on the field, let the newer players get comfortable on the ball and communicating.”

Eighth-grade defender Bryanthony Arellano was named to the all-tournament team.

The Eagles boys team found the going equally tough in its first two matches of the season, giving up early goals in both games to fall 6-0 at Artesia Saturday, Aug. 24, and 6-0 to Hope Christian in their home opener in Belen on Tuesday. Aug. 27.

Against Artesia, the Bulldogs scored a pair of early goals then continued to pepper Belen with shots and poured the pressure on the youthful Eagles, who committed errors that led to four of the Bulldogs’ six goals in the first match of the season for both teams.

“I don’t know if it was the long bus ride or the unfamiliar playing surface, but our younger guys just came out really tight,” said coach Danny Krow. “We made a few mistakes early and it made it tough on us the rest of the way.”

The pattern repeated itself on Tuesday, as the Huskies from Class A-3A scored two goals in the first 15 minutes and continued to pressure Belen. The Eagles showed flare and imagination in their passing and ball movement throughout but were unable to consistently penetrate Hope’s well-organized defense.

Senior goalkeeper Alejandro Sanchez was steady in goal, managing several spectacular saves against the Huskies, while the back four, anchored by Manuel Parra, were kept busy for much of match.