Cleveland senior defenders Julianne Crump (11) and Ava Lowe (20) lend goalkeeper Brooke Keene some help in the loss last week at Volcano Vista. (Herron photo)
The 12-team Class 5A girls’ state soccer tournament brackets were released Sunday, and, as many expected, the one-loss Cleveland High School girls team is the No. 1 seed.
The Rio Rancho High School girls team missed the tournament for the third time in five years.
Volcano Vista 2, Storm 0: Hopes of staying unbeaten heading into the postseason dissolved on the Hawks’ thick grass field Wednesday afternoon.
Scoreless at halftime, the Hawks – celebrating Senior Day – got goals from Kasey Sandoval and Sophia Urquidez in the second half to spoil the Storm’s unbeaten streak.
“We didn’t challenge (Hawks goalkeeper Elena Moya) very much,” CHS coach Greg Rusk said. “Everything was low to her right; where she’s strong, to her right.”
Even the Storm’s late penalty kick by Arissa C’de Baca was saved by Moya.
“They’re playing so they get a good seed at state,” Rusk said, and the Hawks beat Cibola 2-1 in their finale to make that happen as 1-5A’s runner-up.
“This (loss) could drop us to a 2 (seed),” he added.
It didn’t; Las Cruces (19-0-1), the 3-5A champ, got the 2 seed.
Cleveland (16-1-1) got a first-round bye and on Friday or Saturday will play the winner of the No. 9 La Cueva-No. 8 Clovis first-round game played Tuesday.
It’s the second time CHS received the No. 1 seed, after missing the postseason the past two years; the Storm were No. 1 in 2010, just the second year of their existence.
Cleveland was the 2 in 2017, when they lost the championship game to La Cueva.
Rio Rancho girls
Cibola 2, Rams 1: On Oct. 19 at RRHS, the Cougars scored a pair of first-half goals; Maya Romero tallied her 24th goal of the season in the second half.
Rams 6, Atrisco Heritage 1: On Saturday, in what turned out to be their last game of the season, RRHS seniors Trinity Romero and Maya Romero scored two goals apiece, senior Mikayla Mora scored, and sophomore Santana Solano also found the back of the net.
The Rams ended the season with a 9-10-1 record, 2-6 and in fourth place of 1-5A.
Headers: Maybe we should have seen success for the Storm girls coming. It turns out four of them had brothers on the 2018 Cleveland boys’ championship team. The current players, with their brothers’ names in parentheses, are (Arianna Barreras) Jairo and Mariano), Ella Lent-Koop (Jake), Brooke Keene (Garrett) and Katelyn Otero (Nathan).
… Former Rams standout Leilani Baker, in her final season of eligibility with the UNM Lobos, was recently named the Mountain West Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week, and then scored her seventh goal of the season in a 2-0 win at Boise State Oct. 20. The POW honor is the second of Baker’s career; she was named Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year once during her junior season in 2019.