The No. 1 Cleveland High girls soccer team started the second half of its District 1-5A slate just as it began the first half: with a victory over Rio Rancho.

This time, it was a 2-1 contest, in contrast to the 6-0 Storm (14-0-1, 5-0) victory on Sept. 21 at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

Angeline Montoya, off an assist from Kiana Jamerson, gave the visiting Storm a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute.

The Rams didn’t wait long to tie the game, with freshman Kieara Trujillo-Garcia beating Storm goalkeeper Brooke Keene in the next minute. Addisyn Leeds earned an assist on the goal.

In the 26th minute, Sienna Salazar, on a pass from Sloane Sinnott, scored what turned out to be the game’s final goal.

“Our team seems very well-focused,” CHS coach Greg Rusk said. “We’re getting into our game earlier and earlier. (It’s) the level of soccer we want to play.”

That “level” is the best the Storm have played after 15 games in their history, unbeaten after 15 games. Their previous best start through 15 games was 14-1 in the 2017 season.

The Storm are home Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 6 for Senior Night. On Saturday morning at 11, they’ll play at 2021’s 5A champ, Cibola (11-4, 4-1). A Storm victory ensures the 1-5A crown for the Storm.

After their loss to the Storm, the Rams girls were 7-8-1 overall and 1-4 in 1-5A contests.

Rams 5, Atrisco Heritage Academy 1: The Rams posted their first district win on Oct. 5, behind two goals each from the unrelated Romero girls, Trinity and Maya. Add in a tally by Trujillo-Garcia and they had an easy win.

The Rams play at Volcano Vista Wednesday at 3:30, then are home Saturday to face Albuquerque Academy in a non-district contest.

Next week, the Rams entertain Cibola Wednesday at 6 and visit the APS soccer complex Saturday at 1:15 p.m. to face last-place Atrisco Heritage Academy.

City boys settle for tie

While the City of Vision girls teams were battling at Rio Rancho Stadium, the boys’ teams were playing in a chilly drizzle at Lightning Bolt Stadium.

They couldn’t settle on a winner after 80 minutes of regulation play and 20 minutes of overtime.

Rams 2, Storm 2: Aaron Meserve ripped a shot in the 30th minute that CHS ’keeper Joaquin Armijo initially blocked – but the ball came back out to Edgar Alarcon, who put it past him on the carom.

About two minutes later, Emmanuel Ruiz lofted the ball over Rams goalkeeper Antonio Cross-Guillen’s head and into the net; Dominic Aguilar got an assist.

Seventh-ranked Cleveland later took the lead on a corner kick by Jack Marshall, with Brayan Ramirez deflecting it past Cross-Guillen, and the game remained 2-1 at halftime.

Luc Koenig scored for the No. 9 Rams in the second half, necessitating OT.

The Rams (9-3-3, 3-1-1) are home Wednesday evening at 6 to meet Volcano Vista, then home Saturday at 9 a.m. to meet Albuquerque Academy in a non-district game. They’ll be at Cibola Oct. 19 at 3:30 p.m.

The Storm (8-7-3, 1-2-2) play Atrisco Heritage Academy Wednesday at 4:30 at the APS soccer complex. They complete the regular season Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. when Volcano Vista visits.

Cleveland High’s Kiranjit Ahluwalia (4) uses her head to keep the ball in play during the second half of her team’s 2-1 victory at Rio Rancho High School on Saturday. (Herron photo)