Wildcats win final soccer match of Desert Academy Invitational
It took the Desert Academy Wildcats until the final boys soccer match of its inaugural Desert Academy Invitational for Rob Lochner’s message to sink in: Let’s play some defense.
The Wildcats recorded their first shutout of the season with a 5-0 win over the Santa Fe Waldorf junior varsity in the third-place match at Alto Park on Saturday. After going 0-1-1 in Friday’s pool play (tying Moreno Valley 4-all and losing 3-2 to Questa), Desert Academy finally found the right frequency on the defensive side.
“It was a treat for the kids to not allow any goals because we had been allowing too many,” Lochner said. “It was a great job. Our keeper [Ryan Harvey] had five saves, and I was really happy with out sweeper Aidan Serna. He did a great job communicating with our other younger players.”
On the offensive end, the scoring punch of Cole Sullivan and Sebastian Pearson-Kramer did their part. They both collected two goals while the junior Wolves opened the scoring with an own goal off a Wildcats corner kick. Pearson-Kramer had six goals in the tournament, while Sullivan had three.
Desert Academy improved to 2-3-1.
In other matches, Tierra Encantada beat Questa 3-1 for the title while Moreno downed Albuquerque Oak Grove for fifth.
Santa Fe Prep 3, East Mountain 1
The Blue Griffins got their first win, beating the Timberwolves at Sun Mountain Field. Luke Stein had a pair of goals, while Sam Gilbert broke a 1-all tie with his first goal of the season. Prep improved to 1-4. The Blue Griffins play Monte del Sol on Tuesday.
Taos 4, Monte del Sol 3
The Dragons put pressure on the undefeated Tigers throughout their nondistrict match at the Municipal Recreation Complex, but could do no more than that.
Taos (6-0) led 1-0, but both teams went back and forth in the second half as they each scored three times. The Dragons (2-1-1) had Moises Cerda, Alejandro Morales and Pedro Chavez each score a goal.
“I don’t think anybody has scored three goals on Taos yet,” Monte del Sol head coach Fritz Rothdach said. “We made a few errors, but we are a work in progress yet. We put everyone on notice that Monte del Sol is playing really well and we are going to get stronger.”
Santa Fe Indian School 3, Taos 0
The Lady Braves rebounded from a sweep at the hands of eventual silver bracket champion Las Vegas Robertson in the Tournament of Champions semifinal in Capital’s Edward A. Ortiz Memorial Gymnasium. The Lady Braves sweep the Lady Tigers 25-18, 25-21, 25-23 to take third place.
Taos outside hitter Faith Powell posed problems, but SFIS head coach Brian Gurule was pleased at how his back row handled her hitting.
“We were really getting under the ball,” Gurule said. “We did a lot better, but we still need to get better with our blocking because we are so small compared to the rest of the teams out here.”
Leanna Lewis had a team-high 14 kills for the Lady Braves, while sister Camilla Lewis and Erin Miles each added seven. Marlena Yazzie had 30 assists, while Anlisa Pino recorded six aces on her serve.
Bloomfield 3, Santa Fe Prep 0
The Blue Griffins continued the youth movement in the silver bracket of the Tournament of Champions, especially at setter. Sophomore India Cunningham only played one match, so Prep head coach Kiran Bhakta elected to primarily use a 6-2 offense to give his lesser experienced setters playing time.
“We were tweaking our lineup,” Bhakta said. “The younger ones stepped up and did do what we asked of them. We’ve got something to work with as they get more experience.”
Senior Daisy Cunningham and sophomore Raelyn Gonzales each earned all-tournament honors.
Prep fell to 1-4 and takes on Monte del Sol on Tuesday.
Monte del Sol 3, Mesa Vista 1
The young Lady Dragons (2-3) are taking it one skill at a time as they managed to take seventh place at the Cimarron tournament by besting the Lady Trojans, 25-10, 20-25, 25-16, 25-22.
Junior Emi Fukuda earned all-tournament honors, and Monte del Sol served at a 92-percent clip for two of its three matches.
“We’re getting a little bit stronger,” Lady Dragons head coach Chela Butler said. “So that is a plus.”