Jaci Linn side kicks the ball away from a Jaguar player. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Alyssa Parker takes a shot at the goal, but the Jaguar goalie made the save. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team took care of business Thursday night, beating Capital 6-0 to head into the New Mexico Activities Association state championships with some momentum and a possible top-four bye in the playoffs.
Los Alamos got off to a bit of a slow start in the match but picked things up in the second half.
Elsa Gram netted the first ‘Toppers goal in the 22nd minute as she took an Alyssa Parker corner kick to the abdomen to knock the ball into the net, knock the air out of the Jaguar faithful, and knock the air briefly out of herself.
Alix Hailey would find the back of the net off a steal near midfield to give the in the 26th minute, giving the ‘Toppers a 2-0 lead at halftime.
In the second half, off another ‘Topper corner kick, the ball bounced off Vianey Terrazas to make the game 3-0 in the 58th minute.
Hailey added another goal, her 2nd of the game, finding the back of the net in the 73rd minute. Katie Hopkins followed it up with a 73rd-minute goal to give Los Alamos the 5-0 lead.
Peyton Hobbs capped the night with a goal in stoppage time to give the ‘Toppers the 6-0 win.
Los Alamos finished with 18 shots and 14 corner kicks in the match.
“We created a lot of opportunities. I wish we would have converted on a few more but six goals in a game is very good,” Head Coach Ann Cernicek said after the match. “Stringing together seven or eight passes is something we’ve been working on and we got eight passes on one of our scoring plays.”
During halftime, the seniors were honored on the field with their parents.
“Great group of seniors, its’ always hard to see one crew move on, and you hope you can reload with JV, but always good to have a solid senior class, and we had that this year,” Cernicek said about her senior players.
The Hilltoppers are on the bubble to earn a bye in the 12-team playoffs, vying for the last spot in the top four with the Farmington Scorpions. Both teams narrowly missed a head-to-head match in the Albuquerque Academy tournament when Farmington lost their first round game versus the eventual district 4-4A champion Hope Christian Huskies. Los Alamos fell to the Huskies in the second round of the tournament. Both teams played Hope Christian again, and both won.
Looking deeper at both teams, there are a lot of common opponents. Farmington beat Piedra Vista, a game Los Alamos dropped coming off a long 4-hour bus ride. The Scorpions lost to district 5-5A Champion St. Pius, a team the ‘Toppers beat. Both teams beat district 5-4A champ Bosque. Farmington also beat Bloomfield twice by a combined score of 8-1. Los Alamos beat Bloomfield 9-0 in one match.
Both teams have plenty of arguments for nabbing that last spot for the bye.
“When you look at the criteria, we are neck and neck,” Cernicek said about the four seed.
Defenseman Camryn Dickson kicks the ball down field and away from the Topper goal. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Elsa Gram makes a body catch and the ball ricochets into the goal for a score. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Goalkeeper makes a big save in the second half. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Katie Hopkins takes a shot towards the Jaguar goal. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Alissa Haagenstad kick the ball in for an easy goal in the second perioid. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com