Aztec boys best Bloomfield to advance to Tiger Tournament Shootout final
AZTEC— The Tiger Tournament Shootout got underway Friday at Hartman Park here, with the hometown Tigers picking up wins over the Farmington junior varsity team and Bloomfield, respectively.
Aztec got off on the right foot in the six-team tournament by downing the Farmington JV 6-0. Bloomfield beat the same Farmington JV squad just hours later by a score of 3-2 to set up an evening matchup between the Tigers and Bobcats, which Aztec won 3-2.
The Tigers' top two offensive players — Bailey Watkins and Riley Barber — did all the damage on Friday.
Bloomfield took the early lead on a Samuel Gutierrez goal before Watkins scored twice for the Tigers to guide them to a 2-1 halftime advantage.
Gutierrez then struck again out of the half, racing by Tiger defenders to score his second goal of the night and tie the contest. But Barber put the game away midway through the second half with a goal from the top of the box for the Tigers.
"He's controlling the field a lot better than last year," Aztec coach Stephen Scales said of Barber. "He's looking at lanes and getting in on them, he's using his teammates up top and just using the field really well. He's got good vision."
Bloomfield coach Scott Reid credited Barber for his game winner, saying, "You can't be mad at your defense on that one." But he was displeased with Watkins' goals, which both came off of corner kicks.
"We have to clear the ball, and we have to be aware of where their good players are," Reid said. "When it's a set piece like that, and good athletes are around, and we're not marking them, they're going to score."
Aztec will play either Miyamura or Grants for the tourney title today at 5 p.m. back at Hartman Park. Bloomfield will play the loser of the Miyamura-Grants game at 1 p.m.
PV falls to Bosque 10-0
Piedra Vista had a rough go of it Friday against a stellar Bosque team, losing 10-0 at the PV soccer fields.
Panthers coach Pat Denney said the team did some positive things in the second half, despite the lopsided final score.
"We played a very strong beginning to the second half, where my boys decided to play a little bit more physical," he said. "I think our speed of play in the second half was very good. Because of our size and young age, we'll focus on our speed of play going forward."