The Albuquerque Sol looked like it would finally have that elusive second victory.
Not so fast.
It soon became time to tie one on yet again.
The city’s Premier Development League soccer team surrendered a late goal Friday and had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Mountain Division foe FC Tucson.
It’s the third straight tie for the Sol (1-2-4), this one coming in front of 1,022 fans at St. Pius High School in match that was interrupted in the first half for about two minutes by some untimely sprinkler action.
Despite the inadvertent shower, the Sol turned in a strong effort, controlling much of the play.
“I don’t think they troubled us too much,” said assistant coach Matt
Gordon, who was running the team in the absence of head coach Chris Cartlidge. “In the first 15 minutes of the second half, we could have put the game away. We created a lot of problems for them.”
The Sol got its goal in the 35th minute on driving liner from Isaiah Madrid in to the upper far corner. Travis Campbell delivered a long switch about 40 yards downfield to Madrid, who trapped it, turned and fired a shot that he didn’t see as he ended up facing west, directly into the setting sun.
“I got the ball and I knew I had time to turn and shoot,” he said. “I never saw it but I knew it was good when I heard it hit the back of the net.”
Madrid and forward Luke Lawrence were constant threats throughout the night for Albuquerque, with Lawrence getting robbed several times on excellent chances and Madrid drawing a foul just outside the penalty area on a breakaway.
“Up the line was open every time,” Lawrence said. “I was able to hold it up and possess the ball in the final third and that created a lot of chances.”
But the conversions were hard to find for the Sol and it ended up proving costly in the waning moments. Vance Rookwod put one away with 5 minutes remaining to create the deadlock.
Despite the disappointing finish, Gordon said the tie isn’t a bad result against first-place FC Tucson (5-1-1).
“They’re a good team,” he said. “We came into the game feeling real good after having two (scoreless) shutouts on the road trip last week against two very good teams. So we came in with a lot of confidence and togetherness from that trio and I think it showed.”
With a second turnout of more than 1,000, Sol president Ron Patel said fans are justifying the team’s creation.
“New Mexico is thirsty for good soccer,” he said. “And it helps with the family atmosphere that we have here. Kids have a great, it’s more than just a soccer game.”
NOTES: Defender Travis Campbell, a former New Mexico Lobo, was named to the PDL team of the week for his play last weekend. … Current Lobo defender Riley McGovern, suited up for FC Tucson.