Playing a relatively unknown school on the New Mexico high school soccer landscape, the Farmington Scorpions were unable to repeat as 4A state champions.
The Lobos (19-2) received a first-half goal from Adrian Cosio when a Chaparral corner kick bounced freely in the Farmington box. Cosio found the ball on his right foot and finished with a blast.
It was the only goal of the game as Chaparral hung on to win its first state soccer title in the school’s three-year history.
“Sometimes soccer gives you great thrills and sometimes it gives heat break. Today was a heart break day,” said FHS first year head coach Ryan Atkinson. “Chaparral got that corner and the ball rolled around in the box for awhile. They were able to get a toe to it.”
Chaparral fired off nine shots to Farmington’s 12 while both teams were on target just three times.
Farmington (12-7) controlled the ball for much of the game, but an athletic Lobos team flew to the ball and made it difficult for FHS to get good looks.
“We had shots go off the side of the net and one off the crossbar,” Atkinson said. “They didn’t have much that worried us at all. We had opportunities of our own, but we couldn’t get a shot in.”
The Scorpions fought with everything as time wound down in the second half.
Headers sailed just high and every shot off of a Farmington foot seemed to sail too high.
Despite reaching the title game for the third time in four years, this year’s Scorpions team was not riddled with experience. Several young players filled huge cleats for players who graduated in 2012, and Atkinson was thrilled with the way the team developed and fought to a state title game in his first year replacing Felix Chacon.
“When you want to build a program, you always want younger guys getting experience in big games like this. It was great all of our guys stepped in the way they did this year to fill roles of seniors from last year,” he said. “Yeah it hurts to lose, but our goal of building an experienced program saw success.
“When you take over a team that has just won a state title, there are going to be high expectations from me to the guys and from the community to us. I think it is important for us to keep that high expectation and build on it to keep our tradition alive.”
The Scorps were also happy to compete in a state title game against Chaparral in a true North-South battle with Chaparral coming from the El Paso, Texas area.
“It was fun to play them. Knew they would be tough and we knew we were going to have a battle. That is exactly what it was, 80 minutes of pure battling,” Atkinson said. “It was a great experience for myself and all the guys on the team.”
Farmington will lose six more seniors this year, but Atkinson is confident the growing tradition of Scorps soccer isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
“We are so proud of our six seniors and what they accomplished here,” he said. “Everyone will continue to work and be proud of being a member of Farmington High soccer.”