By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer
The Rams and Lady Rams had mixed results in their final games of the season Saturday afternoon at the Ram soccer pitch.
The Lady Rams (3-11-1) fell 8-0 to Ruidoso, while the boys tied the Warriors 2-2.
“It was a good game,” Ram volunteer coach Grant Shanahan said. “Best I’ve seen them play all season. I was happy with it. There were a few mistakes, but overall it was their best game ever.”
The Rams (4-7-1) and Warriors played to a halftime 1-1 draw, Kyle Bonem scored the Rams’ lone goal in the first half.
Ruidoso jumped out to a fast 2-1 lead early in the second half, and minutes later, Portales’ Cody Small nearly brought the Rams even. Small beat the Ruidoso keeper, only to hit the goal post from five yards out with his open-net shot.
Small made up for that shot by tying the game 2-2 with about 20 minutes left to play.
Shanahan said finishing the season with a strong performance against Ruidoso will drive the returning Rams to a fast start next year.
“They’ll come back in next year; all of the sophomore, juniors and freshmen and they’ll be ready to win,” Shanahan said.
The Ram coaching volunteer also talked about the improvements the Portales boys have made this season.
“(It’s a) world of difference,” Shanahan said. “When we first started, our team wasn’t really a team. They knew how to play, but it wasn’t a team effort. At the end of the season it was great. They started really playing as a team and giving a team effort.”
The Lady Rams started Saturday’s season-ending doubleheader with their 8-0 loss to the Lady Warriors. Ruidoso led 4-0 at the half, but head coach Traci Sievers believes the experience her girls received makes their inaugural season a success.
“I think we got a lot of experience,” Sievers said. “They know that if they get stronger and work on their soccer skills they can make huge improvements before next season starts.”
Sievers also said her seniors played a key role in that success.
“We had some good senior leadership this year,” Sievers said. “Portales has a tradition of having good athletic teams and our seniors have been a part of that tradition.”
While Sievers is sure to return next year, Shanahan plans to try to get back onto the Greyhound soccer team next season. If that doesn’t work out, he wants to return to the Ram sideline.