ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque Metro Soccer Championships have turned into a veritable backyard party for Volcano Vista High School.
The APS Complex is only a couple of minutes walk from the VVHS campus across the street, so the Hawks’ boys and girls soccer teams won’t have to travel far when both compete for tournament titles Friday night.
The boys ripped Valley 6-0 on Wednesday night in the semifinals, while the girls blanked district rival Cibola 2-0.
The boys face defending Class 5A state champion Eldorado at 7:15 p.m. Friday.
At 6:45 Friday night, the girls take on La Cueva in a rematch of last year’s 5A title game, won 1-0 by the Bears.
“I’m really excited to see them,” Volcano Vista girls coach Samantha Lucero said. “It’s always great to see La Cueva, because we have a bit of a rivalry going on.”
Ruth Bruciaga and Claire Lynch, the two mainstays who returned for Volcano Vista, had goals.
Bruciaga’s was a shock, especially to Cibola, as she hit the back of the net from about 45 yards out on a direct kick.
“It was (surprising),” Cibola coach Gary Zink said. “I thought we had things well covered. (Bruciaga) is just a strong player.”
Bruciaga had already tried three direct kicks before that.
“Fourth time is the charm,” she said with a smile.
Volcano Vista lost in the metro finals last year to Sandia. But the Hawks — who also beat Rio Grande, Manzano and Albuquerque High last week in pool play to advance to the semis — are thinking less about that than facing La Cueva.
“We want to get back at it,” Bruciaga said, “and win this. It would be good for us.”
“It’s two different teams,” added Lynch.
La Cueva advanced with a 3-1 victory over Rio Rancho in the other semifinal on Wednesday night.
Cibola faces Rio Rancho for third place Friday. The Cougars are 3-1.
“Tonight was a little bit of a setback,” Zink said, “but they’re very confident they have what it takes to get somewhere.”
The Volcano Vista boys had the easiest time of it Wednesday. Although the game was only 2-0 at the half, the Hawks scored two goals within a minute of each other early in the second half, and the Vikings were done.
Volcano Vista coach Billy Thiebaut certainly expects Friday’s final against Eldorado to be slightly more competitive.
“It’s exciting and great,” Thiebaut said. “We’re excited to play a (school with a) storied tradition like Eldorado. That’s where we want to be.”
The Eagles edged La Cueva 1-0 in the other semifinal.
“They’ve beat four teams; we’ve beat four teams; we’ll see Friday,” Eldorado coach Walt Witkowski said. “Our goal was not to win metro, but to get the five hardest games we could, and we achieved that.”
Some highlights from the first week (pool play) of the metro tournament:
♦ On opening day, Volcano Vista’s boys edged Atrisco Heritage 2-1 on Charlie Harmon’s goal in the 74th minute;
♦ Valley’s Grant Rowe had two goals for the Vikings in a 2-1 victory over Albuquerque Academy;
♦ Bruciaga had a hat trick, and Lynch added two goals in the Hawks’ 10-0 first-round win over Rio Grande;
♦ Hailey Richards had two goals, but Cibola had nine different goal scorers in their 10-0 shutout of West Mesa;
♦ Lynch had a four-goal game in a 5-0 win over Albuquerque High;
♦ Maria Franco tallied twice for West Mesa’s girls in a 5-2 win over Atrisco Heritage;
♦ Erin McAnarney of Cibola had two goals for the Cougars in a 4-2 triumph over Sandia;
♦ Teriq Canales had a pair of goals as the Hawks blanked Manzano 4-0;
♦ Jack Mossman of Cibola recorded a hat trick in the Cougars’ 5-0 shutout of West Mesa;
♦ Hailey Richards, Courtney Doman and Renee Brinson each had a pair of goals in Cibola’s 10-0 win over AHA.
Also last week, Bosque School had three victories. Dylan Chant had the game-winner in overtime for a 2-1 win over Los Alamos; Felipe Galvis and Andres Rivera each had two goals in a 7-0 whitewash of Grants; and Galvis had three goals and four assists in a 10-0 rout of Moriarty.
— This article appeared on page 4 of the West Side Journal