By Arnie Leshin
In the morning, in the pouring rain and chill that set in, the 3rd seeded Lady Horsemen turned back Robertson, 5-1, to advance to Wednesday morning‘s semifinals against 2nd seeded Socorro.In the afternoon, the 7th seeded Horsemen stunned top-seeded Bosque Charter School, 2-0, by scoring twice in the second half and moving on to play city rival Monte del Sol, the 4th seed, in the semis. In the earlier match against the Dragons, it was 4-3 Monte del Sol when it scored in the final minute of a close encounter.The Dragons advanced with an overtime win over Hatch Valley.As for the girls, it was the third time in three outings that first-year head coach Maggie Feil’s had disposed of district foe Robertson, the others being 8-2 at Christian Brothers Athletic Complex, 2-1 in overtime at the Cardinals’ field, and now, with Robertson scoring on an “own goal”. Otherwise, it was all St. Michael’s, with leading scorer Rachel Morgan depositing two goals in the first half for a 2-0 lead.In the second half, the Lady Horsemen, playing with one starter, freshman Grace Sandoval out for the season with an injury and two other starters, 8th grader Cameron Gantt and sidelined after not being cleared from concussions. But Feil said it was as usual, a true team effort, with sophomore goalkeeper Malene Keene, one of the team captains, coming up with six saves, and the defense shutting down the Cards.“The weather was horrible,” Feil said. “It rained right from the start, it continued to come down, and it got colder as the match went along. It might have bothered the players, but they just continued playing the game, keeping Robertson from moving our way. Oh, and we had no scoreboard at our field and my own book melted.”Filling in as starters for Gantt and were 8th graders Elsa Smith and Jade Lujan.Now it’s a rematch with Socorro, which in a back-and-forth even match non district match at Socorro, the Lady Horsemen lost 4-3, which is why the Warriors were seeded a spot ahead of them.Robertson’s “own goal” came midway through the second half with it trailing 2-0. But St. Michael’s answered back when junior Olivia Farrar’s corner kick in the 60th minute became a goal from her 8th grade sister, Gabby. Ten minutes later, Morgan put in her third goal off an assist from freshman Lauryn Pecos to make it 4-1, and Oliva Farrar turned in her second assist for freshman Farrah Baker to boot it past the goalie and conclude the match at 5-1.Morgan also added an assist. She scored the first time on a one-on-one into the corner of the goal in the 15th minute. At the 35th minute, she knocked in a shot from left of the goal on Schneider’s assist.Feil was happy with the assists made by her girls. Junior Frances Schneider and Pecos each had one and Olivia Farrar had the hat trick. She was also glad to see her team start out strong and moving the ball despite the foul weather.Now 11-9-2, the Horsemen’s win over Bosque was a true upset, although in the earlier matches between the district rivals, St. Michael’s lost a 2-1 tight one in Albuquerque when it missed a penalty kick that hit the post, and then forced a 3-3 tie at home. This time, Feldewert’s team came on strong late in the scoreless first half, and then outplayed Bosque through the second half.“We came out very confident,” he said, “and even though it was scoreless after the first half, we were coming on strong in the latter part of the half and continued to do so once the second half began.”It was no longer tied when senior Ethan Regales slipped a pass to sophomore Aiden Fairchild breaking towards the goal and that was to become the only goal the Horsemen would need. That came at 45th minute, and 10 minutes later, the lead became 2-0 when the Bosque keeper came out to confront sophomore Oliver Rosales, who then fed the ball to freshman Trevor Eckman, who found the goal.Sophomore keeper Dave Dominguez, who has played a majority of the games in goal, made five saves as his defense kept Bosque from attacking the goal. Senior John Morrison, who has already filled in as the goalkeeper, began the match at outside back and was then switched to center back when it became 2-0.“During the regular season,” Feldewert said,” our seniors laid the groundwork, now our underclassmen are putting us over the hump. We are simply putting it all together, moving the ball well, and talent-wise, we match-up with any other team.”The coach, now in his fifth season, added that his defense was great, and made no mistakes.