Lady Horsemen seeded 6th and is home to Hatch Valley this weekend, Top-seed are Prep girls, Griffin boys No. 5 and play host to Tierra Encantada, and Capital gets 8th seed and gets visit in first round from Valencia
By ARNIE LESHIN, Santa Fe Today
Quite a few surprises in the state soccer tournament brackets announced Sunday by the NMAA.
In the girl’s field, you won’t find Albuquerque Hope Christian on top of the stack. The Huskies (10-10) have won the state 4A championship four times in the last six years and lost to Albuquerque Sandia Prep, 3-2, in last year’s semifinals while going 17-5-1. In that span, it has won 131 matches and lost 27.
But under a new head coach in Kristal Coker and a rather young roster, the Huskies will have to settle for the number five seed, and without a first-round bye this time, will have to play host to 12th seed Navajo Prep (6-10-2) in the first round this weekend.
They have only four seniors to go with one 8th-grader, four freshmen, three sophomores and 10 juniors. But they did win their district by going 6-0.
Then there are St. Michael’s girls. In the last three state tournaments, they ran into Hope Christian, last year in the semis after back-to-back setbacks in the championship round, one in overtime.
So at 14-6 and with victories over No. 4 Socorro (14-4) and No. 9 Portales (9-10) two times to go with a 1-0 setback at No. 2 Albuquerque Bosque School, a 2-0 loss to No. 3 Albuquerque Sandia Prep (13-7), and 5-3 losses and 2-1 losses to top-seed Santa Fe Prep, (14-0-1) the Lady Horsemen come in as the 6th seed and get a first-round visit this weekend from 11th seed Hatch Valley (9-9), with the winner meeting up with Sandia Prep.
But at least they got a bid, for the Horsemen did not. They finished at 9-9-2 and fourth in District 2-4A. Taos, which went 9-9-1 and took third in the same district, were also left out.
But defending state champion Santa Fe Prep (11-5-1) is in as the 5th seed and has a first-round date at home against Santa Fe’s Tierra Encantada (6-6). The top seed is Hope Christian (18-2) and the second seed is Albuquerque Sandia Prep (10-7-3).
Also making state from the Griffins’ district is surprising Las Vegas Robertson (14-6), which defeated Prep twice in the final week to enter as the 3rd seed and with a first-round bye. The Cardinals will play the Hatch Valley-Bernalillo winner in the Nov. 2 quarterfinals at the Bernalillo Soccer Complex.
The Prep-Tierra Encantada winner takes on 4th-seeded Moriarty (13-6-1).
As for the Lady Horsemen, getting past the Bears will have them lining up against Sandia Prep (13-7). The Griffins, at 14-0-1 the lone undefeated girl’s team in the state, will await the Portales at Moriarty survivor.
In 5A, no Capital High. In 6A, no Santa Fe High.
But in boy’s 5A, the Jaguars (12-7-1) made it in as the 8th seed and are home to 9th seed Valencia (8-10-1) after finishing third in 2-5A behind Albuquerque Academy (13-4-3) and Los Alamos (14-6).
A win would set Capital up again versus the Chargers, the top seed. Alamogordo (15-3-2) is the second seed. The Hilltoppers are the 4th seed.
In 6A, no Santa Fe High.