Los Lunas boys, Belen girls remain undefeated in district soccer race

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The Los Lunas boys and girls soccer squads remained undefeated in District 6-4A play as did the Belen girls as all three teams won matches over the weekend. The Tiger boys entered the weekend ranked No. 6 by MaxPreps at www.maxpreps.com while the Eagles and Tiger girls were ranked No. 8 and No. 11, respectively.

The Tigers hosted county rivals Valencia Tuesday in a key league match-up. You can read the “Web First” account of the game at www.news-bulletin.com this afternoon. Los Lunas travels to Belen on Saturday for the first of two rivalry games against the Eagles.

Kenn Rodriguez-News-Bulletin photo: LOS LUNAS FORWARD Alejandro Garcia, right, sends in a shot against Gallup Miyamura during the Tigers’ 4-1 win over the Patriots at Volunteer Field in Los Lunas. Garcia is currently fifth in the state in scoring with 15 goals and 6 assists for 36 points. Teammate Chris Lovato is currently second in Class 4A with 53 points from 22 goals and nine assists.

Boys: LLHS tops in battle of undefeateds, VHS victorious

The Tiger boys trailed 1-0 at halftime to Gallup Miyamura Saturday at Volunteer Field in Los Lunas, but rallied with three second-half goals to hand the Patriots their first district loss of the season.

Junior Alejandro Garcia equalized the score in the 47th minute then gave Los Lunas (9-3, 3-0 District 6-4A) the lead with a spinning free kick in the 54th minute. Sophomore Chris Lovato completed the comeback with a penalty kick goal, after colliding with Miyamura goalkeeper Miguel Gutierrez in the 60th minute.

“We were just not there mentally,” said Lovato of the Tigers’ first half. “Once we put Alejandro (Garcia) up top and went, they had no idea (what was happening.) They were man marking me and, from there, they couldn’t do anything. It just threw their whole formation off and we managed to get some points off of it.”

Miyamura (10-3, 2-1) took the lead in the eighth minute when John Kolb knocked in a rebound off a shot saved by LLHS’ Dylan Romero, then frustrated Los Lunas by clogging up the midfield and pushing men forward on attack.

The Tigers adjusted at halftime and were able to improve their possession and take the attack to the Patriots, who were set on their heels once the game was tied.

Kenn Rodriguez-News-Bulletin photo: SAMANTHA LUCERO, left, of the Los Lunas girls soccer team scores a goal against visiting Miyamura on Saturday in Los Lunas. Lucero and the Tigers remained undefeated in District 6-4A with their 3-2 win over the Patriots.

“They simply shut down our possession game by pressuring us up high,” said coach Daniel Martinez. “Part of the talk was that we need to step to everything, we need to win every ball and then our second thing was we need to go wide, to spread out the field. Doing that opened up the game.”

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The Jaguars moved to 8-4 on the season and 2-1 in district with a dominating win over hapless Gallup High in Gallup on Saturday. Valencia sophomore Cristian Garcia managed a treble, scoring three goals in the match and junior Alan Ramirez added a brace with two goals to bring his season total to 11 goals, putting him in the top 10 goal scorers in Class 4A.

The Jags scored three first-half goals against Gallup, which is winless on the season with at 0-12 and 0-3 in district. The Jags then added another four goals in the second half.

After traveling to Los Lunas High to take on the Tigers Tuesday, Valencia plays a non-district match against Santa Fe Thursday, followed by a home match against Grants, which defeated Belen at Belen High on Saturday.

Belen dropped to 2-9, 1-2 in league play after losing to the Grants Pirates 4-1.

The Eagles were able to earn five corner kicks with aggressive play but couldn’t take advantage of opportunities and were out-shot 10-7 by Grants (7-3, 1-2). With his team down 2-0, Belen’s Alejandro Chavez scored in the 41st minute to cut the Pirates lead. But Grants scored five minutes later to gain some distance, then scored with 22 minutes left in the match to seal the win.

Belen traveled to Miyamura Tuesday afternoon and then entertains Los Lunas Saturday.

Girls: Belen, Los Lunas both 3-0 in league

The Eagle girls scored three first-half goals and were able to keep consistent pressure on the visiting Grants Lady Pirates, ultimately prevailing 7-2 at Eagle Field on Saturday.

Kenn Rodriguez-News-Bulletin photo: FRESHMAN DANIELLE SAAVEDRA of the Belen girls soccer team takes a shot during the Eagles’ match against Grants Saturday. Saavedra scored three goals in Belen’s 7-2 win over the Lady Pirates Saturday afternoon. Saavedra is currently second on the Eagles in scoring with seven goals and three assists.

Junior Alexis Begay managed a treble with three goals and also had two assists, two of which went to freshman Danielle Saavedra, who also registered three goals of her own in the match. Jadyn Casillas added a late goal for Belen (9-3, 3-0).

“Our coach makes us run sprints if they score, so we didn’t want to run sprints,” said Begay in explaining her team’s urgency after giving up a goal. “We’re a really close team, we play really well together. We’re really excited about winning district this year. It hasn’t been done for a while at Belen.”

The Eagles out-shot Grants 11-4 with freshman goalkeeper Renee Archuleta registering two saves in the win. The Eagles were up 4-0 before the Pirates got a pair of goals in the 51st and 61st minute from sophomore Randee Romero.

Begay, a junior, is currently second in Class 4A with 56 points off 25 goals and six assists.

Grants fell to 3-5-1 and winless in league play with a 0-3 slate. The Eagles traveled to Miyamura Tuesday and will host Los Lunas Saturday morning.

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The Tigers were twice tied by Miyamura Saturday afternoon before junior Analyssa Lopez found the net with a swirling free kick in the 59th minute to keep Los Lunas (7-4, 3-0) undefeated in district.

The Tigers took an early 1-0 lead on a goal by junior ReAnna Torres but Miyamura equalized the score five minutes later.

But Los Lunas, which controlled the midfield for most of the game and got the better offensive attack going throughout, went back in the lead on a goal by senior Samantha Lucero just before halftime to give LLHS a 2-1 lead.

“(At halftime) we talked about how we needed to work as a team, step up to the ball and work as one,” said Lopez. “It feels good (to be 3-0). It gives us confidence.”

Miyamura equalized at 2-2 in the 52nd minute but Lopez took advantage of a foul by the Patriots on the left flank and sent in the free kick from about 30 yards out.

Miyamura fell to 5-8 and 2-1 in district play with the loss, and were out-shot 8-3 by Los Lunas. The Tigers played at Valencia High Tuesday before traveling to Belen for a potential match to determine first place early in the season on Saturday.

Valencia got a pair of goals from junior Kristina Contratto and another from senior Lydia Gonzales to defeat visiting Kirtland Central 3-1 in non-district play.

But the Jags gave up a second-half goal after entering halftime tied with district for Gallup High on Saturday to lose 2-1 to the Bengals, who had lost six of their previous seven games.

Contratto scored the lone goal for Valencia in the defeat. Valencia (7-5, 0-3) hosted Los Lunas Tuesday and travels to Grants on Saturday.

Look for a recap of this week’s matches, will be published in next week’s edition of the News-Bulletin