Los Lunas boys claim district title, VHS girls hold BHS

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The Los Lunas boys soccer squad clinched the District 6-4A title Tuesday night, defeating second place Miyamura 3-0 in Gallup to win the league title with two games left in the district season.

The match stood in stark contrast to the Tigers’ first meeting with the Patriots this season, which saw LLHS trail 1-0 at halftime. This time around, coach Daniel Martinez said the Tigers took the fight right to the Patriots, scoring three first-half goals.

Kenn Rodriguez-News-Bulletin photo: ALEJANDRO GARCIA of the Los Lunas boys soccer team leaps high to head the ball away from a Gallup defender during the Tigers’ 10-0 rout of the Bengals Saturday afternoon.

“Because we came out flat the last time, we decided to attack early,” said Martinez by phone.

While the Los Lunas offense pressed the attack, the defense did a number on Miyamura, allowing only three shots for the game.

Ranked No. 5 in Class 4A again this week, Los Lunas, (13-3, 9-0) beat up on host Grants 7-1 Tuesday before returning home for a 10-0 rout of winless Gallup High.

It was a great three-game stretch for sophomore Chris Lovato and junior Alejandro Garcia as the pair moved to first and third place in scoring for Class 4A and, as of Wednesday, are also the top scorers in the state, according to stats posted at www.nmsoccer.com.

Lovato, who is also the top scorer in the state, notched 12 goals and three assists over the last three games move to 88 points on the season from 38 goals and 12 assists as of Wednesday morning — 14 ahead of the next closest scorer, Roswell High’s Fernando Sanchez, who has 24 goals and 70 points.

Garcia surpassed Sanchez’ 24 goals with 26 so far this season, and 13 assists. Lovato, Sanchez and Garcia are the top-three scorers in all classifications in the state

Valencia (11-7, 5-3) remained in third place in the league with a 4-1 win over Belen on Saturday but lost 3-1 at Miyamura last Tuesday. Senior Alan Ramirez scored two goals and an assist against Belen. The Jaguars defeated Gallup 8-1 Tuesday and host the Tigers Saturday before closing the season next Tuesday at Grants.

Belen (3-12, 2-5) snapped a five-game losing streak last Tuesday at Gallup, beating the Bengals 4-0 but followed that win with a loss to Valencia Saturday. Junior Manuel Parra scored a pair of goals against Gallup. The Eagles played at Grants Tuesday, but no socre had been reported as of the News-Bulletin press time. Belen hosts second-place Miyamura Saturday before closing the season next Tuesday, hosting Los Lunas.

Girls soccer: Valencia snaps Belen’s nine-game win streak

Belen coach Wilfred Carrasco described Saturday’s match at Valencia High as a “wake-up call” for his Eagles

Kenn Rodriguez-News-Bulletin photo: VALENCIA HIGH midfielder Lydia Gallegos, right, sends the ball as Belen’s Jadyn Casillas, left, slides in during the two teams’ match Saturday afternoon. The Jaguars held out for a 4-3 victory, handing the Eagles their first District 6-4A loss of the season.

BHS rebounded with three second-half goals but were unable to overcome a determined effort by Valencia High, which beat the Eagles 4-3, handing BHS its first loss in District 6-4A play this season — the team’s first loss since Sept. 12.

On Saturday, the Jaguars got an early jump on the Eagles, who came into the match riding a nine-game winning streak powered largely by the goal scoring skills of junior Alexis Begay.

The Jags defense began the game by marking freshman Danielle Saavedra and Begay, who was tied with Albuquerque St. Pius’ Tatiana Limon as top scorer in Class 5A with 70 points as of Monday.

Valencia drew first blood in the 12th minute when senior Lydia Gallegos found the back of the net. But Saavedra sent in the equalizer off an assist from Begay in the 20th minute to tie the game at 1-1.

At this point, the Jags clamped down on Saavedra and Begay and the Eagles attack waned. Gallegos scored again for Valencia in the 26th minute and sophomore Carolina Maestas added a goal five minutes later.

Leading 3-1 at halftime, the Jags got another insurance goal in the 58th minute, scored by senior Kristina Contratto and the VHS looked to be in control.

But Valencia entered the game with just one reserve and began to wilt defensively as the game came to a close.

Belen pressed forward and Saavedra scored in the 78th with Begay adding a goal a minute later on a brilliant solo run. But the final whistle came before Belen was able to mount an equalizing attack.

The scenario worsened Tuesday for Belen (12-5, 6-2,) which lost its match at Grants 1-0 while Los Lunas and Valencia were both victorious — the Tigers (10-6, 6-2) winning 2-0 over Miyamura in Gallup and the Jaguars (12-5, 5-3) beating Gallup High 5-0 at home.

Los Lunas beat Grants 5-0 last Tuesday and Gallup High 3-1 on Saturday to set up the first place tie between BHS and LLHS.

Belen now hosts fouth-place Miyamura Saturday while Valencia travels to Los Lunas High to play the Tigers.

A win by LLHS keeps them at least tied for the league lead. A Valencia win could put them into a tie for first with Belen as the Jaguars hold a tie-beraker against the Tigers due their two wins over Los Lunas.

Valencia closes the season at Grants Tuesday afternoon while Los Lunas hosts Belen in a possible district championship match.

A loss by the Tigers against Valencia Saturday would give Belen the inside track as the Eagles hold a large advantage on the district tie-breaker — goal differential. BHS is plus-24 goals on the season and VHS plus-22 with LLHS even (37 scored, 37 allowed.)