RIO RANCHO — A perfect example of the time-honored phrase, “What goes around, comes around,” took effect at Lightning Bolt Stadium on the afternoon of Oct. 31.
No. 10 Albuquerque High avenged its 1-0 state playoff loss to Cleveland High last season, rallying from an early 1-0 deficit to outscore the No. 7 Storm 5-1 the rest of the way in a Class 5A first-round playoff game.
The Storm (10-8-3), who lost to the Bulldogs (13-5-1) 4-3 in a contest Aug. 30 at the APS soccer complex, took a 1-0 lead on a successful penalty kick in the 11th minute by senior Dominic Aguilar.
What turned out to be Cleveland’s lone lead of the game ended about 23 minutes later, when AHS tied the game, and then shortly before intermission, took a 3-1 lead.
Down but not out – yet — an “own” goal off a corner kick by Aguilar had the Storm trailing by a single goal, but the Bulldogs weren’t about to be collared, adding goals in the 73rd and 77th minutes to advance to a quarterfinal meeting with No. 2 La Cueva (18-2).
“It’s always hard and bad to lose your last game,” CHS coach Shaun Gill said. “I feel bad for the seniors (Aguilar, Amir Fauzi, Emmanuel Ruiz and Tyler Robertson). They worked their butts off this year, and we came back and overcame a lot of things.
“Hats off to Albuquerque High — they hustled and busted their rear ends and they earned it. I don’t think we had our best game, for sure, but that’s the way it is — that’s high school soccer.”
Rams fall to Panthers on the road
Meanwhile, in Anthony, New Mexico, the No. 9 Rams (10-8-2) lost to No. 8 Gadsden 4-3 Oct. 31.
No details were available from that game.
Gadsden moved into a quarterfinal game at La Cueva later this week.