First defeat in four outings for Lady Horsemen, first triumph for Huskies Tuesday afternoon
By ARNIE LESHIN, Santa Fe Today
Head coach Gerzain Chavez said that every time his St. Michael’s girl’s soccer team play an early-season match against Albuquerque Hope Christian, they do not do well at all.
And even though the Huskies arrived Tuesday at the Christian Brothers Athletics Complex without a win in three starts, they not only landed one, but also handed the Lady Horsemen their initial loss in four outings.
Now it’s surprising that Hope is now 1-3, but to triumph 5-0 is not. As Chavez said, it happens annually, although in back-to-back state 4A championships, the Huskies had a struggle before 1-0 overtime wins, and came into this season with four titles in the last five years.
Through that span, Ronald Espinoza was their head coach. This year, Kristal Coker took over for the first time, and just like that, not the usual start for the program.
It opened with a 3-2 loss at home to Los Lunas, then shut down, 4-0, at Aztec, and at home took a 2-0 setback to Piedra Vista.
Under Espinoza, its record the past five years has been 79-11. Last season, it lost in the state semifinals.
But St. Michael’s, which is home to Socorro on Sept. 12, had been impressive, especially in stopping Los Alamos’ unbeaten streak at four by turning in a 3-2, double-overtime win over the visiting Hilltoppers.
But this time, it was all Hope Christian again. It scored twice in the first half and three times in the second. Junior Desi Peres put in two of the goals, senior Kelly Casaus had one, and juniors Ava Rutt and Katie Parker scored a goal each.
But the Lady Horsemen couldn’t match this, couldn’t score. Sophomore Daisy Smith took four shots, junior Claire Lee and freshman Francesco Schneider took three shots each, and senior Tianna Baca, the team’s leading scorer, had but one of the 11 attempts on goal, 13 overall.
St. Michael’s senior goalkeeper Megan Burnham played the entire 80 minutes and stopped 13 of the 17 shots on goal.
Hope, for the first time in years, is not even ranked in the state’s top 25, but if the heather green and gold can continue what it started Tuesday, it should be up there within time. No stranger to being on top, it has won its district seven straight times.
But as Chavez said, the Huskies somehow put all the pieces together when they meet up with Lady Horsemen.
In other girl’s soccer, Los Alamos (5-1) rolled over visiting Taos, 10-4, for the Tigers’ first defeat in four starts, Capital (1-5) lost 2-1 to visiting Grants (6-2), and Santa He Indian School fell to 1-6-1 with a 10-0 setback at Robertson (3-2).
In boy’s play, the Jaguars advanced to 5-0-1 by blanking visiting Grants, 7-0, for their fifth-straight shutout after an opening 0-0 tie against Santa Fe Prep. Sophomore Jordan Pacheco scored twice on his birthday.
St. Michael’s dropped to 2-3-1 with a 3-1 loss at Socorro, and Los Alamos is now 6-1 following a 4-0 win over Taos.
In volleyball, St. Michael’s upped its record to 5-1 by turning in 3-0 sweep of visiting Hope Christian via scores of 25-14, 25-14, 25-18. Senior Sierra Moya had 10 kills, one more than junior teammate Miquela Martinez, and junior Darian Ortiz came away with 16 assists.
At Albuquerque Bosque School, Santa Fe Prep won the first set, 25-15, and then dropped the next three in a 3-1 setback to the Bobcats. At Capital, the Jags evened their mark at 3-3 by sweeping Navajo Prep, 3-0