By Arnie Leshin
While its girls have won state four times under retired head coach Ed Veile, the boys have none. They last played in the state semifinals in 2004 and head coach Mark Miller began four-straight years of losing in the championship match to Sandia Prep. 3-0, 1-0, 2-0 and 2-1.
“The best coach who didn’t win,” said Veile of Miller.
Now the Horsemen are under head coach Mike Feldewert for the fourth season. This has been his best team, it is 13-7-1 overall and would have won the district but lost to Bosque, 1-0, in the next-to-last game. Then, after beating Sandia Prep, 2-0, for only the second time in 14 years, they lost 6-0 to the fired-up Sundevils in Albuquerque to close out the regular season.
It was played throughout in a heavy downpour, but to Sandia Prep all it wanted and got was to avenge the previous setback.
Now it’s a truly tough quarterfinal after 6th seed St. Michael’s shut down Santa Fe Prep, 5-0, in the first round. Monte del Sol, the second seed at 13-3-1, is who it faces, and it advanced by edging Santa Fe’s Tierra Encantada, 1-0, for the second time in the opening round. The one tie on both records came when they tied 1-1 midway through the season.
This match is also Wednesday and is slated for a 10 a.m. start at field 10. Senior Justice Johnson has had an outstanding season for the Horsemen while dividing time between soccer and cross country. As the goalkeeper, Issac Vigil has been very good and the team has not faced injuries like the past three years.
“These are good kids.” Feldewert said, “and have played well. We’ve had some tough losses, but also some good wins.”
His son, John, was on the team in his father’s first year as head coach, and his daughter, Sally, was the starting goalie for Veile.
But first things first, and the Dragons, who previously made the state semis and quarters, are a tough test, an obstacle in the way of the Horsemen.They are young, quick, and well balanced.