AZTEC — The Aztec and Kirtland Central girls' soccer teams kicked off their seasons with a pair of dominant victories.
The Lady Tigers defeated Desert Academy 10-0 and Los Lunas 6-0, while the Lady Broncos picked up a 11-1 victory over Santa Fe Indian School and a 10-0 win over Deming during the Lady Tigers Shootout on Friday at the Tigers' Sports Complex.
Aztec head coach Stephen Parks couldn't have been happier with the way his squad opened the season.
"The girls were ready to play today, and it showed in the way they performed," Parks said. "They stayed disciplined, and we've been talking about that. We did the things we were supposed to do."
Hailey Morris led Aztec with four goals in the win over Los Lunas.
Parks wasn't familiar with Los Lunas but expected to face a strong team after they defeated Miyamura 4-1 earlier in the day.
"We've never played them before, and I'd never seen before today," he said. "They beat Miyamura though, and Miyamura usually has a pretty tough team, so I was expecting a difficult game. But we managed to maintain possession for most of the game and keep the ball on their half of the field. I felt like we did well."
Aztec will be joined in the final of their tournament by District 1-4A rival Kirtland Central after the Lady Broncos cruised to a pair of easy victories.
KCHS head coach Leonel Camacho was excited by his team's ability to score at ease as it combined for 21 goals in the two wins.
"We've improved a bunch. We have a good, solid attack, and our defense has improved a bunch," Camacho said. "Our offensive unit is coming together. We're working toward the ball and seeing better combination play. Obviously, it makes a huge difference shredding defenses."
Zoey Hooper netted four goals to lead the Lady Broncos in the win over Deming, and Camacho knows her goal scoring will be critical for KCHS going forward.
"She's a senior and was First Team All-State last year with 20 goals, and we hope she'll get more this year," Camacho said of Hooper.
Both coaches are ready to get a preview of what's to come when the Lady Tigers and Lady Broncos meet up during the district schedule.
"We told our keeper that tomorrow, they'll be coming for you," Camacho said. "Our defense has a job to do as does our midfield and our forwards. When everybody does there job, we'll win games. I'm proud because we really are a 3A school and for us to compete in this district is amazing."
Parks knows Kirtland Central will be a strong opponent, and he's hoping his team will be able to build off of its early momentum.
"I just want them to come out and continue to execute," he said. "It's early in the season, and we need to be able to play our game and do what we've been working on. That's my main focus. It's not so much about facing a district opponent as it is that we want to be challenged. That's the only way we're going to grow as a team, and I'm sure that's how coach Camacho feels as well."
Earlier in the tournament, Piedra Vista fell to Deming in a shootout after overtime ended 0-0.
On the boys side, Aztec fell to Miyamura 1-0 after the Patriots converted a penalty kick in the second half.
Piedra Vista dropped its season opener at home to Bosque 3-1.
Joshua Perry covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.