Not that it mattered in the game’s final minute Thursday afternoon at Albuquerque High, but you can see the frustration in Rio Rancho High School sophomore Aaron Meserve (16) when this ball was covered up by the Bulldogs’ goalkeeper. The Rams won, 2-1, with the second RRHS goal scored by Meserve’s brother Aaron. (Herron photo)
Preparation time for the all-important District 1-5A slates is running out, as the city’s varsity soccer teams open district action Sept. 21 at 6 p.m., with the Cleveland High boys at Rio Rancho High School, and the Rams girls at Lightning Bolt Stadium to meet the Storm.
- The Cleveland High School girls soccer team remained unbeaten and won the APS Metro Championship for the third time last Saturday, after a 2-1 overtime victory over defending 5A champ Cibola.
The Storm (6-0-1), who were also Metro champs in 2016 and ’17, were home to meet St. Pius X Saturday.
The Cougars scored in the championship game’s 30th minute, only to have the Storm tie it in the 77th minute on an unassisted goal by Ella Lent-Koop.
The game went into overtime, and about five minutes in, Arissa C’de Baca, on an assist from Rylie Pengelly, gave the Storm the title.
Goalkeeper Brooke Keene had eight saves for the winners, who had a dozen shots on goal to 10 for Cibola.
This week, the Storm are at Los Alamos Saturday at 10 a.m.
- The Rio Rancho girls clobbered visiting Capital Tuesday evening, 10-0, snapping their two-game skid they endured in the Metro Championships’ Gold Bracket, a 1-0 loss to Cibola, dropping them into the third-place game vs. La Cueva, and then a 2-1 loss to the Bears.
Against the Jaguars, who are coached by former Ram two-sport standout Santana Orozco, Maya Romero had a first-half hat trick, Trinity Romero tallied twice in the first half, and Tatum Dain and Mikayla Mora made it 7-0 at halftime. Trinity Romero completed a hat trick with a second-half goal, when Jaelyn Coca and Kenna Blanton also scored, ending the game early via the mercy rule.
The Rams have three games this week: at Los Alamos Tuesday at 6, home Thursday at 6 to face Piedra Vista, and then at St. Pius X Saturday morning at 10.
- The Rio Rancho boys were relegated to second place in the Bronze Bracket of the APS Metro tournament, losing to Sandia 1-0.
At Capital Tuesday evening, Douglas Cutshall scored twice and assisted on another goal as the Rams beat the host Jaguars 6-0.
At Albuquerque Thursday, the Rams (5-2-2) spotted the host Bulldogs the game’s first goal, then got tallies by Luc Koenig and Sean Meserve to beat the ’Dogs 2-1.
“You know what? I have to give so much credit to the young guys on this team,” said coach John Shepard. “They took some coaching. We changed the game plan a little bit and they 100-percent bought in and they covered for each other, and they played so hard for each other.”
The Rams concluded their busy week Saturday at Roswell.
This week, the Rams play once; they’re home Tuesday at 6 to meet Los Alamos, head coach John Shepard’s alma mater.
- The Storm boys opened the annual Albuquerque Academy tournament Thursday afternoon with a 1-0 victory over Los Alamos.
Jack Marshall’s penalty kick early in the second half sent the Storm (5-2-1) into a Friday semifinal vs. Sandia Prep, a 4-1 victor over Farmington. Hobbs and the host Chargers were in Friday’s other semifinal. (Scores were not available by press time Friday.)
Coach Shaun Gill said he wished the Storm had a larger lead: “That’s something we’ve been working on, and when we do it, we’re successful,” he said. “When we put teams behind, we’re in our comfort zone, but when we let them hang around and hang around – without (goalkeeper) Joaquin’s big save at the end (off a corner kick), we’re in overtime.”
“Joaquin” is sophomore ’keeper Joaquin Armijo, whom Gill said, had been “a field player who stepped in this year as a goalie,” replacing Miguel Quiñones, now with New Mexico United’s academy team, along with another former Storm and two Rams.
“Growing up, he was a goalie, probably eight years ago,” Gill added. “(Armijo) is athletic; I think he’s the best goalie in the district.”
This week, the Storm are home Thursday at 6 to meet Bosque, and then at Santa Fe Saturday at 1 p.m.