A handful of the current Albuquerque High Bulldogs who were in the state semifinals back in 2018 as sophomores have returned with a chance to take the next, giant step forward.
At AHS on a breezy afternoon, University of New Mexico signee Zaria Katesigwa had a hat trick and two assists, and Abila Tapia added a pair of goals as the second-seeded Bulldogs (6-0) coasted to a 9-0 Class 5A girls quarterfinal win Tuesday over outmatched No. 7 seed Farmington (8-3).
It was the first day of state tournament play for the state soccer season, a fall sport delayed by pandemic concerns.
Albuquerque High will host No. 3 Centennial in Thursday’s semifinals, with the winner advancing to Saturday’s 5A final. The Hawks defeated Hobbs in that quarter of the bracket.
And AHS said an extra 2½ years should serve them well in the semis after coming up short in November 2018 against Sandia.
“We actually know what we’re doing now,” AHS center back Sofia Trejo said. “Two (seasons) ago, we didn’t have the experience that this team has now. It’s a totally different feeling.”
That was readily apparent throughout Tuesday’s quarterfinal, which was one-sided for 80 minutes.
“I haven’t seen the girls come together, because it’s such a short season,” Bulldogs coach Sara Torrez said. “It’s interesting for it to come together in the state tournament, and we’re hoping our next game will be even stronger.”
Sabrina Reyes added a goal and an assist for the Bulldogs.
Albuquerque High led 4-0 at halftime.
“We’ve been together for a long time, and we try to find that chemistry throughout the year,” said Katesigwa, who signed with the Lobos last November, “and create a family as a team.”
— James Yodice
No. 4 RIO RANCHO 2, No. 5 PIEDRA VISTA 0: In Rio Rancho, junior Kennedy Baugh’s first goal of the season couldn’t have come at a better time: in the 51st minute of what had been a scoreless state quarterfinal game.
Then, in the game’s final minute, senior Sophia Lau drilled a shot at Panthers (8-3) goalkeeper Hailey Drake; the ball caromed off Drake and back onto the leg of Lau, and her insurance goal sends the Rams (7-2-2) to the state semifinal round for the first time since 2016.
The best decision of the game came when the Rams opted to have the ferocious 27 mph wind at their backs in the second half, when they deluged Drake with at least 13 meaningful shots.
“It was a little bit rough-and-tough at times,” RRHS coach Uwe Balzis added, although his team – behind senior goalkeeper Briana Gresham and a stingy defense -– has gone five hours of action over its last four games without allowing a goal.
ALSO TUESDAY: Carlsbad’s Alexa Dugan scored in the 47th minute for top-seeded Carlsbad, as the Cavegirls eliminated No. 8 Volcano Vista, 1-0. Carlsbad next plays No. 4 Rio Rancho.
No. 2 HOPE CHRISTIAN 10, No. 7 DEL NORTE 1: At Hope Christian, Savanah Sanchez racked up three goals and an assist, Zylee Dominguez added a goal and four assists and the second-seeded Huskies eliminated a determined Del Norte team on a windy, dusty Tuesday.
Hope (9-1-1) scored early and often in spite whipping winds that left the field in a dusty haze by the second half. The Huskies led 8-1 by halftime but could never quite amass the 10-goal margin that would have ended things via mercy rule.
Coach Amy Fankam conceded she wouldn’t have minded an earlier exit, but Fankam was more than satisfied with her team’s dominating performance.
“This whole year has really been a team effort,” Fankam said. “Honestly, it doesn’t matter who I put in, there’s no drop-off. We did a good job setting the tone early today and everyone just kind of kept it going.”
Hope might easily have ended things earlier but for the work of Del Norte goalkeeper Casey Mariscal. The junior amassed 15 saves, including one on a penalty kick and several on diving deflections.
“(Mariscal) was really good,” Fankam said. “Give her credit.”
But Del Norte (4-2) spent most of the match bottled up on its own end of the field. Hope grabbed the lead in the sixth minute when Hannah Gutierrez blasted a shot off Mariscal’s hands, and Sanchez added back-to-back tallies — the second coming when Dominguez hit a shot off the right post that bounded back to Sanchez.
The Huskies steadily built their 3-0 lead to 7-0 late in the first half, but Del Norte capitalized on its best opportunity to avoid a shutout. Alexandria Estrada hammered a free kick off the crossbar that deflected down and hit just inside the goal area in the 37th minute.
The Knights were unable to put another shot on goal thanks in large part to Hope’s aggressive midfield play.
— Ken Sickenger
ALSO TUESDAY: Aztec broke a long scoreless stalemate in overtime, as the third-seeded Tigers defeated No. 6 seed Albuquerque Academy, 1-0.
At St. Pius
No. 1 ST. PIUS 5, No. 8 SILVER 0
Silver 0 0—0
St. Pius 3 2—5
Scoring: 5th minute, Kyera Chavez (Emma Donlin); 19th, Gabby Jeantete (Kyera Chavez);
24th, Eva Suarez (Chavez); 43rd, Lauren Salas (Donlin); 61st, Donlin (Alexis Patalan). Saves: Silver, Aujineah Rosales 24.
CLASS 1A -3A GIRLS
No. 3 SOCORRO 2, No. 2 BOSQUE 1: For a time, it appeared the third-seeded Socorro girls were facing more than just host Bosque School.
Especially Warriors midfielder Elise Madril, who sent shots ricocheting off the cross bar as if that’s what she was trying to do.
“It’s so aggravating because it’s so close to going and it’s so frustrating because that could be your game winner right there,” Madril said of the shots that drew nothing but iron.
But in the end Madril was able to beat her nemesis, and in the process send Socorro (7-3-1) to the state championship game Thursday against top-seeded St. Michael’s.
“I knew that once I got the ball, the wind was with me because it was against me the whole game,” she said of her game-winner in the 78th minute.
The ball had been volleyed around before Madril controlled it. She took a back-heel touch to spin around facing the Bosque goal from 35 yards out and lofted a pinpoint shot into the upper V.
Madril also got the game’s first score in the 39th minute after teammate Kilee Mounyo worked her way down the wing, leaving two Bobcat defenders in her wake. Then she slipped it inside to Madril, who took a touch to the outside and scorched it in.
“She beat two girls on this side, which was awesome,” Madril said. “Then she spotted me in the perfect spot right out of the 18 and she set me up for the perfect shot.”
Raila Jaffer got the second-seeded Bobcats (7-3) even in the 55th minute, weaving past three Warriors defenders before firing a goal from 20 yards.
“We had the wind against us, which hasn’t been friendly to us all season,” Socorro coach Michael Olguin Jr. said. “We had the cross bar against us (Tuesday).
‘We had to travel. We had a lot of things I’d say were against us. But the one thing I can say we did not have against us was the heart of these ladies. They’re true Warriors.”
— Glen Rosales
No. 3 SOCORRO 2, No. 2 BOSQUE 1
Socorro 1 1- -2
Bosque 0 1- -1
Shots on goal: S 8, B 4. Corner kicks: S 1, B 1. Saves: S, Chailynn Amaro 3; B Campbell Pacheco 6.
Scoring: S, 39th, Elise Madril (Milee Mounyo); B, 55th, Raila Jaffer (unassisted); S, 78th, Madril (unassisted).
Records: S 7-3-1; B 7-3.