The Rams surround Giancarlo Figueroa (11) after his second-half goal tied their game at Volcano Vista last Saturday afternoon. About two minutes later, the host Hawks scored and won the District 1-5A contest, 2-1. (Gary Herron/Observer)
A big District 1-5A soccer game looms for the top-ranked (in MaxPreps) and unbeaten Cleveland High girls team, which entertains last year’s state champ, No. 4 Cibola, at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Although the Storm (11-0-1, 3-0 in 1-5A) have beaten the Cougars (8-3, 1-0) this season – 2-1 in overtime for the APS Metro title on Sept. 2 – this game is more important because it is a district contest.
Leading up to this game, the Storm keep posting shutouts and are a viable playoff contender after missing the postseason the past two years.
Here’s how the Storm played in their most recent games:
Cleveland 8, Atrisco Heritage Academy 0: Sienna Salazar had a hat trick, and Ella Lent-Koop and Maleah Quiñones each netted two goals in a shutout of the Jaguars (5-9, 0-3) at the APS soccer complex on Sept. 24.
Angeline Montoya scored CHS’s first goal, helping the visitors take a 3-0 lead by halftime.
Storm goalkeepers Brooke Keene and Madison Johnson each had one save apiece, while AHA ’keeper Jacklyn Colazo made 18 saves, or the damage would have been worse.
It was the fifth shutout of the Jaguars by the Storm in as many all-time meetings.
Cleveland 4, Santa Fe 0: Arianna Barreras’s goal in the 31st minute was the only goal the Storm would need on Sept. 26 in a non-district home game vs. the Demons.
The Storm extended what had been a 1-0 lead at intermission to 4-0 with two second-half goals by Lent-Koop and another by Rylie Pengelly.
Keene went the distance between the pipes and had four saves, as the Storm racked up their sixth shutout of the season and third in a row – all 1-5A encounters.
The Storm play just once this week: Saturday at 9 a.m. at Rio Rancho. The Storm beat the Rams 6-0 in the Sept. 21 meeting at Cleveland.
Rams girls are struggling
Meanwhile, as the Storm keep winning by shutout, the No. 15 Rams (6-6-1, 0-2) keep losing by shutout: 1-0 at St. Pius X, 6-0 at Cleveland and 4-0 to visiting Volcano Vista last Friday afternoon.
That’s four hours without a goal for RRHS (6-6-1, 0-2), and without a game this week until the Rams visit Cibola Saturday at 11 a.m.
Storm boys need a win Wednesday
Although the eighth-ranked Cleveland High boys have been scoring goals, they haven’t been winning, and are on a three-game skid as they prepare to play at Cibola Wednesday at 4.
After being shut out at Rio Rancho in their district opener on Sept. 21, the Storm (7-6-1, 0-2) – who, like their female counterparts, missed the last two postseasons — were edged 3-1 by visiting Atrisco Heritage Academy last Saturday.
On deck is a battle at Volcano Vista on Saturday at 11 a.m.
Atrisco Heritage Academy 3, Storm 1: On Sept. 24, the Jaguars handed the host Storm their second 1-5A loss in as many outings.
Junior Isaac Hendricks’ second-half goal put the Storm on the scoreboard.
Cougars up next for Rams boys, too
Although even after two district games, the No. 10 RRHS boys (7-3-2) get another shot at Cibola Saturday at 11 a.m. when the Cougars visit.
The Rams beat Cibola 1-0 in APS Metro action on Aug. 24.
Volcano Vista 2, Rams 1: In a matter of five or so minutes, elation turned to frustration for the RRHS boys on the afternoon of Sept. 24.
Spotting the host Hawks a first-half goal, junior Giancarlo Figueroa dribbled the ball downfield before unleashing a line shot into the upper right-hand corner to know the contest at 1, with less than five minutes remaining in the District 1-5A contest.
Headed to overtime, right?
Nope: The Hawks netted the game-winner, beating Rams goalkeeper Antonio Cross-Guillen, with less than two minutes to play in regulation.
No OT; no win and no tie.
Headers: Two former Cleveland High standouts, the Legendre brothers, are seeing playing time out of state. Sophomore forward Gabe Legendre leads Ft. Lewis (1-6-2) in scoring with four goals; he has started all nine games for the Skyhawks. Younger brother Nicholas has played in three games in his freshman season at Notre Dame, but has yet to notch a point.