Tigers, Panthers roll at Aztec Invitational
FARMINGTON — A tumultuous week couldn’t slow down the Aztec boys soccer team during the first round of the Aztec Invitational today at the Aztec Tiger Sports Complex.
The Tigers (1-0) saw head coach Steven Scales unexpectedly resign last week and new head coach Stephen Parks step in on short notice. Even so, they never missed a beat, knocking off Kirtland Central 4-0.
“I was pretty excited this morning. Obviously, we still have a lot of stuff we need to work on to get ready for the season, but I’m pleased with the way they played,” Parks said of the Tigers.
The match was KC’s first varsity match several years after the program had been dropped.
Parks said the Tiger defense shined during the first half, and his team took a 1-0 lead into halftime following a header from Pedro Lucero.
Aztec’s offense opened up in the second half, getting goals from Riley Barber and Dylan Olson, and one more from Lucero.
Aztec will play Piedra Vista in the tourney’s semifinal at 10 a.m. Saturday.
“The biggest thing is I want to see them stay organized and work as a unit like they did in the second half (against KC),” Parks said.
Piedra Vista 5, Miyamura 0
The Piedra Vista boys soccer team executed its game plan to near perfection in its season opener, cruising past Miyamura (0-2) 5-0 in the first round of the Aztec Invitational today at the Aztec Tiger Sports Complex.
“We looked good. We have a faster team than last year, and I can see that the work we did in the summer and our conditioning looked good,” PV head coach Carlos Yllescas said. “For being the first game, I’m happy with the win.
Angel Flores led the Panther attack, finishing with a hat trick. Yllescas said Flores’ ability to play multiple positions was a factor in his scoring success.
Max Eisenfeld and Victor Alba added one goal each.
The win moved the Panthers (1-0) into the semifinals, where they’ll meet Aztec (1-0) at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Kirtland Central 4, Miyamura 0
After dropping its first varsity soccer match in close to a decade to Aztec during the first round of the Aztec Invitational, the Kirtland Central boys soccer team bounced back with a 4-0 over Miyamura today at the Aztec Tiger Sports Complex.
KC head coach Noel Camacho said the Broncos (1-1) were nervous during the Aztec loss, but found their confidence against the Patriots (0-2).
“They were a lot looser and more relaxed. Their passes were connecting a lot more, and they were more confident,” Camacho said.
KC got two goals from Anesio Villegas. The first came when the eighth-grader headed in the ball on a corner kick and the second occurred after he cleaned up a loose ball in the box. Jaxon Manning and Ross West added a goal apiece for the Broncos.
KC will play Grants (1-1) in the fifth-place match at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Lovington 5, Bloomfield 0
Grants 2, Bloomfield 0
An inexperienced Bloomfield boys soccer team dropped two games today at the Aztec Invitational, 5-0 to Lovington (1-0), then 2-0 to Grants (1-1), at the Aztec Tiger Sports Complex.
“We’re young, and you could tell,” Bloomfield head coach Scott Reid said. “But I was really pleased with the way the boys played against Grants. It was a huge improvement from the game against Lovington.”
Against Grants, Bloomfield held possession for the majority of the match, but couldn’t find a way to put the ball in the back of the net despite getting around 20 shots off against the Pirates.
Reid said that based on what he saw from the Bobcats, he believes once they can get their first goal of the season, many more will follow.
Bloomfield (0-2) will play Miyamura (0-2) in the seventh-place game at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.