Cats, Rams fail to make it out of first round

CMI staff

ALBUQUERQUE — It was a short stay at state for the Clovis and Portales boys soccer teams.

The Wildcats fell behind in the sixth minute on an own-goal and never recovered, losing to fifth-seeded Cibola 7-0 at the APS soccer complex. Meantime, the Rams, seeded 11th in Class 1A-3A, were handed a 4-1 loss by fifth-seeded Hope Christian on the Huskies home pitch.

Junior midfielder Sergio Rivas had two goals and an assist as Cibola (16-4) advanced to a Thursday quarterfinal match against fourth-seeded Volcano Vista, also at APS.

“We kind of hung our heads (after the own goal),” Clovis coach Greg Trujillo said.

The score mounted to 4-0 by halftime, and the Cats (8-13) simply never got anything going on what Trujillo said was a relatively small playing surface.

“They’re very strong in the midfield, and they played a lot of one-touch balls and kept us out of position,” he said. “We tried to counter-attack, but we seemed to run out of real estate.”

Cibola had only nine shots on goal in the contest to two for the Cats, and had six corner kicks to none for Clovis, which suffered eight losses by one goal this season.

“We played hard today, but we played against a very good team,” Trujillo said. “Every weakness we had was exposed.”

The Cats will lose six seniors to graduation.

“All in all, it was a pretty good season,” Trujillo said. “I’m proud of my guys. They played hard all year.”

Meantime, Hope Christian freshman Alex Vedamanikam posted a hat trick as the Huskies (11-10) had PHS shut out until the final two minutes.

“We didn’t play bad, but we didn’t play good,” Rams coach Nathan Dodge said. “It was a (better) match than the score.”

Vedamanikam scored the first goal in the 29th minute, then added another just before halftime for a 2-0 lead. The Rams (8-11) didn’t get on the board until the 78th minute, when sophomore Saul Fernandez scored off a crossing pass from senior Brandon Gomez.

“Overall, I was really excited that we made the tournament with how young we were,” Dodge said. “We had two big district wins against Santa Fe Prep — No. 5 in the state — and one against St. Michael’s — No. 3 in the state.”

The Huskies will face St. Michael’s in a 3:45 p.m. quarterfinal match on Thursday at APS.

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