The exuberant Los Lunas girls soccer team broke their halftime huddle against No. 5 Belen Tuesday chanting “Who Wants It? WE DO!”

The exuberant Los Lunas girls soccer team broke their halftime huddle against No. 5 Belen Tuesday chanting “Who Wants It? WE DO!”

Kenn Rodriguez-News-Bulletin photo: BELEN FORWARD Alexis Begay, center, has her charge to the ball cut off by Los Lunas defenders Kayla Armjio, left, and Mary Zamora, right, during the Tigers 2-1 win Tuesday in Los Lunas.

In the final 20 minutes, they proved it, turning away wave after wave of attacks from the Eagles offense to preserve a 2-1 win and claim the District 6-4A championship on Senior Day at LLHS’ Volunteer Field.

The win was the Tigers’ fifth in a row and came after Los Lunas (12-6, 8-2) dropped two straight in league play, in early October that seemingly left their district championship hopes dimmed.

But LLHS coach James Torres said the team did stayed positive and did tactical work in practice to bring on the turn around.

“When we lost those games to Valencia and Belen consecutively we wanted to feed off everything we were doing positively and emphasize that, instead of dwelling on the negatives,” Torres said.

With the win, the Tigers, who entered the week ranked 10th in Class 4A by Max Preps, earned a berth into the Class 4A State Tournament, which begins at home sites on Friday, Nov. 1, or Saturday, Nov. 2.

Kenn Rodriguez-News-Bulletin photo: THE LOS LUNAS GIRLS SOCCER TEAM and coach James Torres celebrate after beating Belen to win the District 6-4A title on Tuesday in Los Lunas.

Belen (13-6, 7-3), which has now lost three of their last four matches, will almost certainlty get an at-large berth in the state tournament. The Eagles were undefeated in league play four games ago before falling 4-3 to Valencia at Valencia High School on Oct. 12.

On Tuesday, the Tigers consistently frustrated the Eagles’ dual scoring threats, freshman Danielle Saavedra and junior Alexis Begay, who entered the match tied with St. Pius X’s Tatiana Limon as the top scorer in Class 4A.

Los Lunas scored the break-through point in the 29th minute when junior Samantha Lucero redirected in a corner kick from junior Analyssa Lopez from the right corner to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

Kenn Rodriguez-News-Bulletin photo: REANNA TORRES of Los Lunas, right, and Valencia’s Arianna Hererra, right, battle for the ball during the Tigers-Jaguars match in Los Lunas Saturday.

Freshman Jaidyn Armijo added a wide-open goal from about 25 yards out in the 38th minute to give LLHS a 2-0 halftime lead.

“We were able to be aggressive and get control,” said Lucero.

“We’re an aggressive team and once we start working together and stay aggressive we do really well,” said Lopez

Belen came out aggressively attacking in the second half, tallying most of their shots on goal in the half as the Eagles searched for a goal.

Senior Jadyn Casillas got BHS on the board in the 58th minute, sending a 35-yard direct kick in from the left side of the field just over the outstretched hand of the Tiger’s junior goalkeeper Samantha Savedra.

“We played tough,” said BHS coach Wilfred Carrasco. “First half we started a little slow. First touch was not on in the first half and it came back to punish us.”

Belen then mounted an all-out attack, trying to find the equalizing goal. But Savedra and her defensive backfield, led by senior Kayla Armijo and junior Karina Munoz and sophomores Naphys Garcia and Mary Zamora, were able to blunt the Eagles’ attack while Savedra collected most of her 10 saves in the final 20 minutes of play.

Kenn Rodriguez-News-Bulletin photo: BELEN’S DANIELLE SAAVEDRA, center, heads the ball past defender Karina Munoz (4) during the Eagles match against arch rival Los Lunas Tuesday.

“We just wanted it more and that made us work harder,” said Savedra. “(Our defenders) worked hard. We expected them to come out hard but we got it done.”

The Tigers set up Tuesday’s quasi-district championship game with a 3-2 win over the Jaguars at Volunteer Field on Saturday. Valencia (13-6, 6-4) opened the scoring and senior Lydia Gonzales had two first- half goals. But an own goal by a Jaguar defender tied the game 1-1 and then Los Lunas tied the game again with a Samantha Lucero goal just before halftime.

With the game tied 2-2 at halftime, Jaidyn Armijo came out and scored the game winner in the 51st minute for Los Lunas, which was outshot 26-14 by the Jaguars. Goalkeeper Samantha Savedra had five saves for LLHS with senior Loriann Archuleta collecting eight saves for VHS.

Valencia, which finished the season with a 4-1 win on the road over host Grants Tuesday, entered the week ranked No. 8 in Class 4A, which bodes well for their hopes of receiving an at-large bid to the 12-team state tournament field.

The New Mexico Activities Association will release the seeds and brackets for the post-season playoff on Sunday. Check www.news-bulletin.com for news on the state tournament draw.

Kenn Rodriguez-News-Bulletin photo: Los Lunas’ Samantha Savera, defends a shot from Belen’s Jadyn Casillas during Tuesday’s Tigers-Eagles match.

The Los Lunas girls finish the regular season with a match at Santa Fe High this afternoon.

The No. 4 Tiger boys finished 10-0 in league play following a 6-0 win over host Belen Tuesday afternoon. Sophomore Chris Lovato and junior Alejandro Garcia each notched three goals a piece in the win. The Tigers (16-3, 10-0) finish the regular season at home against Bosque School. Belen finished the season at 4-14, 3-7 in district.

District runners-up, No. 10 Gallup Miyamura, lost 1-0 to crosstown rivals Gallup High on Tuesday. Valencia (12-8, 6-4), which was ranked No. 17 in Class 4A entering the week, defeated Grants 2-1 at home Tuesday now must wait to see if they will get an at-large bid when brackets are released Sunday.