Prep soccer players have a European experience - Albuquerque Journal

Prep soccer players have a European experience

Their teams tied, and, in a way, that’s a microcosm of what binds Brianna Martinez and Hannah Gallegos together.

Martinez, a junior for Volcano Vista, and Gallegos, a Sandia High sophomore, were involved in a 2-2 draw as their high school teams battled Tuesday night at the APS Complex.

Both scored a goal in the game — Gallegos on a perfectly curved, 25-yard direct kick in the second half, Martinez on a first-half penalty kick.

Both play the almost identical same position in the midfield.

And both are unique in that each spent time playing in Europe this summer.

“The goal is always (to play) professional, and the national team,” said Martinez, 16.

Martinez, an attacking center-mid, played three games in Italy in April with the U-16 girls national team at the inaugural International Women’s Tournament of Gradisca.

When Martinez returned, she was promoted for a training camp with the U-17 squad. She already has verbally committed to Notre Dame, and in fact committed to the Fighting Irish almost a year ago.

Gallegos, who also plays center-mid — “box to box,” she said, describing the difference between her and Martinez — was in Frankfurt, Germany, last month for a pair of games with a special side selected by adidas. The company chose select players from various club teams that were sponsored by adidas.

She also did some training with German coaches.

“It was an awesome experience,” Gallegos, 15, said. “My dream was to play in Germany at that top level.

“It’s so much different than the U.S.,” she continued. “Those players out there eat, sleep and play soccer, and that’s all they do. All they want is to play on (a) pro team.”

Martinez experienced some of that culture shock during her travels in Italy.

“Every country plays different,” Martinez said. “We played Italy, Iran, Mexico. … It was interesting to play different types of soccer.”

Gallegos said the coaching instruction was perhaps the most invaluable portion of her trip.

“I learned so much from them,” she said. “I play midfield, and they taught me how to reposition my body to move more forward.”

Martinez — who plays midfield and forward in New Mexico, but is a right back for the national team — said she relished in the patriotic tone of her trip with the national team.

“It was really emotional to stand on the line with the team and listen to our national anthem before each game,” she said.

St. Pius’ travels

St. Pius’ girls on Tuesday night dropped their third straight game. La Cueva’s Jackie Stinett’s goal in the 48th minute broke a 1-1 tie and propelled the Bears — who are 5-1, the only setback coming to undefeated Cleveland — to a 2-1 victory Tuesday night at the APS Complex.

The losing streak for St. Pius is not all it seems, however. The Sartans recently returned from a trip to Northern California, where they dropped two to national programs with much larger student bodies — 3-1 to Maria Carrillo High (Calif.) and 3-2 in overtime to Strongsville, Ohio.

St. Pius coach David Sullivan said Strongsville has expressed interest in a multimatch trip to Albuquerque in 2017. He said he is also trying to persuade Maria Carrillo to make a trip here next year. Sullivan hopes a couple of APS programs would also be included.

Cameron Clarke

Cibola’s boys and Sandia Prep had a game rained out Tuesday. It was supposed to also serve as a fundraiser for ailing Cougars coach Cameron Clarke, who earlier this summer was severely injured in his back yard in a swimming pool mishap and who is rehabilitating in a hospital in Denver. Sundevils coach Tommy Smith said the game would be rescheduled for Saturday, Oct. 22, the last day of the regular season.

… On another Clarke note, Cibola is holding the Cameron Clarke 5K Fun Run and Carnival on Saturday, Sept. 17, from 8 a.m.-noon at Cibola. There is a $10 registration for the 5K or a 1-mile loop. Every sports team, club and activity group at Cibola will have a booth as part of the carnival. Sign up at, or sign up on site on the 17th.

Academy tournaments

The boys and girls events begin Thursday.

The boys first-round matchups are Academy-Hope Christian (4 p.m.), Bosque Prep-Goddard (4 p.m.), Cleveland-Farmington (2 p.m.) and St. Pius-Los Alamos (2 p.m.) The semifinals are 4 p.m. Friday, the final at 10 a.m. Saturday.

For the girls, it’s Academy-Roswell (2 p.m.), Sandia Prep-Los Lunas (noon), Hope Christian-Goddard (noon) and Farmington-St. Pius (noon).

The semifinals are noon (the St. Pius/Hope half) and 2 p.m. (the Academy/Sandia Prep half) Friday. The final is set for 8 a.m. Saturday.

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