Kirtland Central boys shut down Grants to improve to 2-1

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AZTEC — The Aztec boys soccer team bounced back from a 4-0 loss at the hands of Piedra Vista to lock down a third-place finish in the Aztec Invitational this afternoon at the Aztec Tiger Sports Complex.

The tournament hosts brushed off the early-morning loss to stave off Bernalillo 2-1 in the third/fourth-place game.

Team captain Riley Barber and Francisco Villegas put Aztec (2-1) on the board early by each picking up scores in the first half. The Spartans (1-2) cut the lead in half after the break but couldn't do any better than that.

The Tigers ultimately protected the lead, but Aztec coach Stephen Parks said he thought his players got a little tired late in the game, which he said also hindered the team's performance in the PV loss.

"We were trying to maintain that lead and maybe put a couple more goals in, but with that heat and everything, they just kind of ran out of gas," Parks said. "It was a long day, and only having about four days to get to practice with them didn't help. But it still wasn't a bad weekend at all."

The Tigers will try to pick up their third win on Tuesday in a home game against Hope Christian.

Kirtland Central 4, Grants 0 

The Kirtland Central soccer team picked up where it left off on Friday when it defeated Grants 4-0 today, the same score it had downed Miyamura by less than 24 hours earlier.

Eighth-grader Jaxon Manning scored twice in the contest to give him three goals on the young season. Seniors Isaiah Goodson and Marco Camacho also found the back of the net for KC (2-1) in the win at the Aztec Tigers Sports Complex.

The win secured fifth place for KC at the Aztec Invitational.

"We really carried over the momentum from the Miyamura game," KC coach Noel Camacho said. "They're clicking, finding their passing and combining on passes to set up opportunities."

Senior Ross West registered his second straight shutout by blanking Grants (1-2). Camacho said West and the defense have been communicating well with each other.

"(West) has been showing the ability to come out and read certain plays, where, if he would have stayed back, our opponents would have scored," Camacho said. "A couple other times today, our defenders stepped up well in front him."

KC now gets a long layoff before tangling with Rehoboth Christian on Sept. 15 at home.

Bloomfield 1, Miyamura 1

Bloomfield finally netted its first goal of the season today in the seventh-place game of the Aztec Invitational, but the team couldn't manage much more than that.

The Bobcats (0-2-1) battled Miyamura through two overtimes to a 1-1 stalemate at the Aztec Tiger Sports Complex.

Isiah Natoni scored the Bloomfield goal and was later awarded a penalty-kick opportunity in the second overtime, but he was a little too banged up to take the shot, and his replacement ended up skimming the ball off the post and missing.

"I had to come on the field to pull (Natoni) off 'cause he kind of had a stiff leg," Bloomfield coach Scott Reid said.

Jordan Shields narrowly missed what would have won the game over Miyamura (0-2-1).

Reid said his offense is trending upward despite scoring just once through three games.

"We continue to look more and more (fluid), creating opportunities and moving the ball," Reid said. "For being young, we're going to take our licks, but I feel like we're moving in the right direction."

Girls soccer

Piedra Vista 1, Bosque 0

The Piedra Vista girls soccer team earned a third-place finish at the Aztec Invitational today, edging Bosque (1-2) 1-0.

“We were tired. Any time you play three games in two days, you’re going to be tired, but the girls grinded,” PV coach Adam Huff said. “We had some girls playing in different positions that they’re not used to playing in, but everyone did what they were supposed to do, and it was a good win.”

Senior midfielder Makeyan Kalmbach delivered the game’s lone goal midway through the first half, beating Bosque’s keeper near post for the score.

PV (2-1) will play at Kirtland Central (1-2) on Tuesday.

Kirtland Central 4, Miyamura 2

After being the victims of two shutout losses at the Aztec Invitational on Friday, the Kirtland Central girls soccer team found its way during the seventh-place game against Miyamura (0-3) to pick up a 4-2 victory today at the Aztec Tiger Sports Complex.

“We kind of experimented with different girls on the back line today, and they started to click, which allowed our midfielders to work the possession a lot better,” KC coach Chad Kimball said.

The success on the back line and in the midfield also allowed forwards Nikki Begay and Christine Young to be more aggressive and attack the Miyamura defense. Begay and Young accounted for all four of KC’s goals, scoring two apiece.

Kimball said the win should serve as a confidence boost for KC (1-2) moving forward. KC will host Piedra Vista (2-1) on Tuesday.

Belen 3, Bloomfield 0

The challenges of early-season soccer — conditioning and focus — were the downfall of the Bloomfield girls soccer team, which dropped a 3-0 decision to Belen (2-1) in the fifth-place match of the Aztec Invitational today at the Aztec Tiger Sports Complex.

“In all honesty, we did not show up to play today. I think we were worn out from the long day yesterday,” Bloomfield coach Shannon Nygren said. “We were tired and just didn’t show up.”

Nygren said the offense and defense failed to communicate, execute and maintain possession for more than a few touches.

While the team struggled as a whole, Nygren said sophomore Teija Garcia had a great weekend and played tough in all three games.

Bloomfield (1-2) will host Navajo Prep (0-0) on Tuesday. Nygren said the focus for her team going forward will be on conditioning and technique.

Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577. Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.

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