Hope Christian, Hobbs win Academy soccer tourney

Albuquerque Academy’s Luke Babinski (3) and Hobbs’ Malachi Rodriguez (12) go up for a header at the Albuquerque Academy on Saturday. (Mike Sandoval for the Albuquerque Journal)

Hope Christian’s girls and Hobbs’ boys won championships on Saturday at the Albuquerque Academy Invitational soccer tournament.

The Huskies were impressive as they beat district rival Albuquerque Academy. The Eagles also defeated the Chargers, both at Richard Harper Memorial Field.

HOPE CHRISTIAN 3, ACADEMY 0: The Huskies (7-0) peppered Chargers sophomore goalkeeper Cara Anderson with a barrage of shots. Of Hope’s 18 shots on frame, more than half were of extremely high quality, and only Anderson’s great work – including several point-blank saves – kept this from being much worse.

“Fantastic,” Hope coach Amy Fankam said of Anderson.

Sophomore forward Savanah Sanchez had a goal and two assists for the Huskies.

“We all connect really well,” Sanchez said. “We know where each other is going to be and we trust each other.”

Sanchez’s 11th-minute goal, a 15-yard blast into the far corner, set the tone in a first half that was only close because of Anderson.

Sanchez assisted on Hannah Gutierrez’s goal in the 70th minute, a 3-on-1 counterattack, and Ashlyn Salas scored off the right post in the 79th minute for a three-goal cushion.

“It’s great that all of us can score,” Sanchez said, “because they can’t just focus on one player.”

The Huskies have scored 36 goals in their seven victories.

Academy (5-3) was missing four players who were testing. At one point during the game, the Chargers had all three of their goalkeepers on the field as they were so short-handed.

“Defensively,” Fankam said, “we couldn’t have done anything better. We just have to be a little more efficient in finishing.”

HOBBS 1, ACADEMY 0: Junior Yahir Chacon’s 12th-minute breakaway goal stood up for the Eagles (7-2) as they won the early-morning final.

“I just took advantage,” Chacon said. It was his fifth goal of the season. “I saw the defenders – they’re just standing there, you know. So I just stepped in, took the ball and took it in.”

Hobbs coach Alejandro Chavez said the Eagles have been practicing getting their center midfielders going down the middle of the field, and it paid off in what was probably Hobbs’ most important victory this season.

Academy (5-3) managed just a single shot on frame in the final.

For Hobbs, the win, Chacon said, changes this team’s outlook.

“It does now, yeah,” he said. “Next step is bringing home the blue (trophy). I think this puts us up there where teams know who we are.”

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