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Bears’ goalkeeper earns honor

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La Cueva goalkeeper Sam Johnson will play in an All-American Game in December in North Carolina during the women’s college Final Four weekend. (Greg Sorber / Journal)

La Cueva goalkeeper Sam Johnson will play in an All-American Game in December in North Carolina during the women’s college Final Four weekend. (Greg Sorber / Journal)

La Cueva goalkeeper Sam Johnson is an All-American.

But this is merely not a paper honor.

The 17-year-old Bears’ senior will compete in the first girls All-American Game in North Carolina on Dec. 7, part of the festivities surrounding the Women’s Final Four. The contest is for fall players only. Many states conduct soccer season in the spring.

While prep players can be named All-Americans by various outlets, this is believed to be the first actual game featuring the country’s best players.

“It means a lot to be awarded this,” Johnson said. “I’ve worked really hard and I’m glad I can finally represent my state and show what I have.”

Johnson has not committed to a college but hopes a school might see her and pursue her after appearing at the All-American Game.

La Cueva coach Amber Ashcraft will be part of the coaching staff for the West. Johnson is one of 20 girls chosen from the West.

The National Soccer Coaches Association of America will stream the All-American game on nscaatv.com at noon (Mountain) on Dec. 7. The game will be played at Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C.

District 2-5A Boys

While Eldorado has secured the girls title in 2-5A, first place for the boys comes down to Thursday afternoon’s 4:30 matchup between Eldorado and Sandia at the APS Complex. The Eagles (13-4, 5-0) beat La Cueva 2-1 in double overtime Tuesday night. Corey Carabajal had both goals for Eldorado.

There is a potentially complicated tiebreaker procedure on the horizon if Sandia (12-5, 4-1) beats Eldorado by a single goal Thursday. The Eagles won the first meeting, 3-2. If the teams split their two games with each having won by a single goal, it may require going down to a sixth or seventh tiebreaker to determine the district champion.

District 1-5A

The Rio Rancho and Volcano Vista girls are tied for the lead at 3-1 going into the last week. If both win their final two games, the Rams will win the district since they beat the Hawks 4-0 and Volcano beat the Rams 3-0.

Cleveland (2-2 in district) is very much alive, too. The Storm will meet both of the teams in front of it this week – Volcano Vista tonight at home, and at Rio Rancho on Saturday night.

BOYS: Cibola’s boys suffered a crippling blow to their hopes for a 1-5A title Saturday when they was upset 2-1 by Cleveland.

Volcano Vista, at 4-0, leads the league by two games over Cibola. The Hawks can secure the regular-season title if the Hawks – who are tough to beat at home – beat visiting Cleveland at 3:30 p.m. today.

District 5-5A

Albuquerque High’s boys and girls already had district titles locked up as the final week of the regular season began.

The girls, with a 4-1 win over the Vikings last week, own a two-game lead over Valley, which AHS has swept. Ditto for the AHS boys after a 2-1 penalty-kick shootout win at Atrisco Heritage on Saturday.

District 5-4A

For the boys, Albuquerque Academy’s visit to St. Pius on Friday afternoon (4 p.m.) will determine the 5-4A championship. The Chargers are 4-0 in district; the Sartans 4-1.

It will be the same for the girls, with the Sartans leading the Chargers by one game headed into their rematch Thursday at the Academy at 4:30 p.m.

District 4 1A-3A

Sandia Prep’s boys and Hope Christian’s girls have clinched district titles ahead of the final weekend.

State playoffs

The New Mexico Activities Association will announce the 12-team playoff fields in 5A, 4A and 1A-3A on Sunday. The top four seeds earn first-round byes.

First-round games Nov. 1-2 will be primarily played on campus sites. The final three rounds are at the APS Complex on Nov. 7-9.

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