Lady Tigers move on to state soccer quarterfinals; Bobcats teams eliminated

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The opening round of the 2021 Soccer State Championships got underway on Tuesday, with one San Juan County team moving on to the quarterfinals.

In local volleyball action, the regular season is winding down with several teams still battling for district supremacy and a potential postseason berth.

Here's a look back at what took place on soccer fields and volleyball courts around the state.

Girls Soccer

AZTEC 2, Moriarty 0

The Aztec Tigers girls soccer team got goals from Ashley Sexton and Geremyah Martinez on their way to a 2-0 shutout win over Moriarty in the first round of the Class 4A 2021 Girls Soccer State Championships at Moriarty High School.

The ninth-seeded Tigers, with the win in the opening round, will move on to face top seed and 10-time state champion St. Pius later this week.

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Aztec dominated time of possession throughout much of the first half, controlling the ball on the Pintos side of the field, eventually breaking through with 16 minutes left in the half when Sexton got a shot past Moriarty goalkeeper Alaralynn Gunderson.

The Tigers added to their lead 12 minutes into the second half when Martinez slipped a ball past Gunderson into the back of the net, giving Aztec an insurmountable 2-0 lead.

The eighth-seeded Pintos rarely appeared to find their stride in the first round matchup, with Aztec's defense continually able to fend off challenges on both sides of the field. Both teams dealt with windy conditions throughout the match. 

"We adjusted our midfield to dominate the game," according to Tigers head coach Leroy Nelson. "The wind didn't help anyone."

The first round win extends Aztec's win streak to three in a row and improves their overall record to 8-11-2. 

Moriarty sees their season come to an end with a record of 8-7-2.

Aztec's Kathrine Grady (32) chases down a loose ball between Moriarty's Molly Apodaca (12) and Lilia Hernandez (21) during their first round girls state tournament match, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021 at Moriarty High School

The Tigers will square off on the road at St. Pius Friday at 4 p.m. to face the Sartans in the quarterfinals. St. Pius is in search of their third straight Class 4A girls soccer title.

The top seed in Class 4A with a record of 15-1, St. Pius has an eight-game win streak coming into the matchup including a 6-0 win on Oct. 16 against Aztec at Fred Cook Memorial Stadium. 

The Sartans will be led by junior Natasha Montoya, who has scored 18 goals this season, including a pair against Aztec, as well as senior Kyera Chavez with 11 goals and 14 assists.

VALENCIA 2, Bloomfield 1 

Jaida Griego and Nicholette Hawkins scored goals for the Valencia Jaguars, as they pushed past Bloomfield by a final of 2-1, eliminating the 10th seeded Broncos from the 2021 Girls Soccer State Championships on Tuesday at Valencia High School.

Jaguars goalkeeper Kylee Ashley-Kurtz made five saves in the match as Bloomfield kept the match close before their season came to an end.

With the win, seventh-seeded Valencia moves on to the quarterfinals where they will face second-seeded Hope Christian, who have been Class 4A runner-ups three times in the last five years. 

Bloomfield's season comes to an end with a 9-7-2 overall record (5-2-1 District 1-4A) with Evani Villalobos leading the Bobcats in scoring with 12 goals and Desirea Gurule recording eight goals this season.

For more information on the state soccer tournament, visit the official New Mexico Activities Association website.

Boys Soccer

HIGHLAND 8, Bloomfield 0

The Highland Hornets boys soccer team scored seven times in the second half, eliminating the Bloomfield Bobcats by a final of 8-0 Tuesday night in the first round of the 2021 Boys Soccer State Championships at Highland High School.

The sixth-seeded Hornets move on to the quarterfinals where they will face third-seeded Los Alamos later this week. 

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Bloomfield trailed 1-0 going into the half, and the match was still within reach in the final 20 minutes before the Hornets scored six times in the final 20 minutes to earn the win.

The 11th-seeded Bobcats have their season come to an end with a record of 10-9-1 (5-2-1 District 1-4A) with Jesus Jaquez leading the team in scoring with 28 goals and nine assists.

Volleyball

FARMINGTON 3, West Mesa 0

Kylie Goodluck recorded 17 kills and six service aces as the Farmington Scorpions volleyball team swept West Mesa three games to none in district action Tuesday night at the Scorpion Gym.

The Scorpions earned the win with scores of 25-22, 25-16 and 25-17 to improve their record to 11-9 this season and a 3-4 mark in District 2-5A competition.

Farmington has won two of their last three matches and will be on the road this weekend to face off with Eldorado Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

LA CUEVA 3, Piedra Vista 0

The La Cueva Bears volleyball team made short work of Piedra Vista Tuesday night at the Jerry A. Connor Fieldhouse, sweeping the Panthers three games to none.

The Bears, who have won 13 in a row and remain unbeaten in District 2-5A, knocked off Piedra Vista by scores of 25-9, 25-13 and 25-9.

During the course of their 13-match win streak, La Cueva has lost only set. They have swept each of their last nine opponents.

The Panthers have lost nine straight and fall to 5-15 overall and 0-6 in district play. They will look to end that losing streak Saturday at 6:30 p.m. when they visit West Mesa.

BLOOMFIELD 3, Aztec 0

The Bloomfield Bobcats volleyball team swept past Aztec three games to none Tuesday night in district action inside the Bobcat Gym at Bloomfield High School.

Bloomfield earned their second straight win, getting past the Tigers 25-20, 25-19 and 25-6, improving their overall record this season to 9-9 (4-3 District 1-4A) and will be at home Thursday to face Gallup.

Aztec has lost four in a row, dropping their record to 7-12 overall (1-6 District 1-4A) and will look to rebound when they visit Shiprock Thursday at 6 p.m.

KIRTLAND CENTRAL 3, Shiprock 1

The Kirtland Central Broncos volleyball team picked up their fifth win from their last six matches Tuesday night after getting past Shiprock three games to one at Bronco Arena.

The Broncos won the first set 25-12 before Shiprock evened the match with a 25-22 second set win. Kirtland Central closed out the match with scores of 25-14 and 27-25 to earn the hard-fought victory.

The Broncos are 11-9 overall and remain two games back of Gallup in the District 1-4A standings with a record of 5-2. Kirtland Central will be at home Thursday at 6 p.m. to face off with Miyamura.

The Chieftains have lost seven straight and fall to 3-11 overall and are winless in seven matches within the district. Shiprock will be at home Thursday at 6 p.m. to square off with Aztec.

Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680.