FARMINGTON — Hutchison Stadium on Tuesday played host to a rematch of a 2012 4A state semifinal game.
It was a big game in terms of 2013 state seeding for Capital's and Farmington High's boys soccer teams. Farmington defeated Capital 1-0 in last year's state semifinal before falling to Chaparral in the state title game. But it was the Jaguars who took a victory on Tuesday as they beat the Farmington Scorpions 3-2.
"Capital is talented as a team. We expect them to be right there at state again this year," said Farmington High head coach Byron Farnsworth.
Nathaniel Pavlik gave the Scorpions (6-4) a first-half lead with a goal in the 16th minute of the game when he collected a rebound off the Capital goalkeeper following a shot by Raul Terrazas. Pavlik tapped in the loose ball for an easy goal. From there, it was all Jaguars as they scored three consecutive goals in the second half.
"Capital has really good skills, especially on the ball," Pavlik said. "They connected a lot of passes and can move throughout the field very well. They didn't have a structured attack, but we still couldn't put them down today."
Jesus Garcia scored the first goal for Capital (5-5) just three minutes into the second half. He hit a shot that looked like it would clear the crossbar, but the ball had a significant amount of backspin and somehow fluttered over the head of FHS goalkeeper Connor Tornquist, finding the back of the net.
Three minutes later, Luis Rios-Olivas scored on a direct kick. Rios-Olivas missed wide right on his first direct kick attempt, but the referee had him retry the direct kick because he had not blown his whistle to allow Rios-Olivas to kick initially. That bit of fortune helped the Jaguars, but Farnsworth said his team didn't panic going down 2-1.
"The only game we have scored a lot in was against St. Pius and against Bernalillo. Everything else has been 2-1 or 1-0 or goes to penalty kicks, so going down like that was not that big of a deal," he said. "Our guys know how to come back and play well."
But Capital tacked on a crucial third goal with just over 10 minutes left in the game to help solidify the win. Jason Alarcon hit a beautiful cross to Bayron Sican, who headed the ball in for the goal.
Farmington's Hyrum Lusk scored to cut Capital's lead to just 3-2 with six minutes to play.
The Scorpions had one last chance to equalize in the final seconds of extra time. But Capital's goalkeeper made a great play, preventing the Scorps from scoring as the Jaguar defense cleared the ball out of the box as the referee blew his whistle to signal the end of the game.
"That last effort speaks volumes about these boys," Farnsworth said. "Our goalkeeper punted the ball across the field, and we play it short right outside of the 18 and go the full field and almost put one away in the final seconds. It speaks a lot about their character. If we can put a complete game together, it is going to be fun to watch."
The Jaguars had to forfeit four games from their early-season schedule after a player was deemed academically ineligible. Capital would be 9-1 this year without the forfeits.
Capital head coach Eugene Doyle said he isn't concerned about what the forfeits will do to his team's state seeding, but he admitted Tuesday's win will help.
"It was definitely a good game for us, but we are working toward districts. Farmington was a very good team to get us ready for the district season," Doyle said. "It does help us for rankings and everything just to show how we play against good competition and good teams, but we just want to focus on districts because that will really determine our seeding."
Farnsworth said he still believes the Scorps are the best team in the state, but he said the team is still missing something.
"We just need to find our method of attack and stick with it," Pavlik said. "Something still needs to click. We are working hard to find it. We have the skills and ability, we just need that final something."John Livingston can be reached at email@example.com; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.