SANTA ANA PUEBLO — The blue bloods reigned supreme in the Class 4A girls quarterfinals Wednesday at the complex on the Santa Ana Pueblo.
No. 1 St. Pius, No. 2 Hope Christian and No. 3 Albuquerque Academy cruised, winning their games by a combined score of 21-0. Fourth-seeded Aztec was the only team with a little bit of drama, as it held off No. 5 Los Alamos by a 5-3 count in the other game of the day.
“I think it says that Academy, Pius and Hope are just a little bit kind of above right now in terms of the level of play,” said Chargers head coach Peter Glidden. “When it comes to these state games, if we’re able to get out early, it’s hard to keep up — a lot of firepower that all three of those teams have.”
Academy, which bested Grants 8-0, will face Hope Christian — an 8-0 winner vs. Los Lunas — in semifinal action Thursday at 2 p.m. on Field 12. It’s the fourth meeting between the two rivals. Thus far, the Huskies have won two of the three, with each game decided by one goal.
“If we play our best, I think we’ll be fine,” said Hope Christian coach Kristal Coker. “I think our girls are really talented and skilled. I think we’ll be OK, but it’ll be a good game.”
Meanwhile, St. Pius, a 5-0 winner over No. 8 Silver, will take on Aztec at 2 p.m. on Field 11 in the other semifinal. The Sartans bested the Tigers 2-0 in a previous matchup on Oct. 19.
NO. 1 ST. PIUS 5, NO. 8 SILVER 0: Grace Romero had two goals and an assist, and Emma Donlin added a score and three assists to lead the Sartans (14-5) past the Fighting Colts (12-5-1).
St. Pius took a little time to get warmed up, but Romero powered her team to a 2-0 lead in the first 20 minutes and the Sartans never looked back from there. Silver spent most of the game on the defensive, as it was outshot 18-0 by St. Pius.
“We started off slow, but we just were patient and went back to what’s got us in the position we’re in,” St. Pius coach David Sullivan Jr. said. “We had a lot of good combinations.”
NO. 2 HOPE CHRISTIAN 8, NO. 7 LOS LUNAS 0: Virtually everyone got in on the fun for the Huskies (18-3), as seven players scored in a rout of the Tigers (12-10).
Hannah Gutierrez paced Hope with two goals, including one on a penalty kick.
“We just have a lot of girls who can attack,” said Coker. “That’s how we’ve been all year long. We haven’t had that one person that’s doing all the goal scoring. A lot of girls have a lot of goals.”
NO. 3 ABQ ACADEMY 8, NO. 6 GRANTS 0: Like Hope, the Chargers spread the wealth in a relatively easy victory over the Pirates.
Led by Willa Wiese’s two goals, seven Academy players found the back of the net. Maya Land and Clair Rembe each had a goal and two assists for the Chargers.
Glidden was pleased with how his team was able to navigate the sloppy field conditions.
“I think the girls did a really good job of settling the ball on the skip. The conditions made it tough for a lot of teams out here today,” he said. “They did a good job at warmup getting used to it. Just playing the ball, not trying to make it too complicated. Playing simple.”
NO. 4 AZTEC 5, NO. 5 LOS ALAMOS 3: The Tigers (16-4-1) raced to a 4-0 lead before holding off a late second-half rally by the Hilltoppers (12-9-1).
Los Alamos cut the deficit to 4-3 on a goal by Tara McDonald off a corner kick, but Aztec iced the game moments later with one final score in extra time.