Panthers blank Aztec 5-0

Karl Schneider
kschneider@daily-times.com

FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista boy soccer team took advantage of a brief mental lapse from the Aztec Tigers for a few quick scores before picking up a 5-0 win today at the Piedra Vista soccer fields.

Aztec's Francisco Villegas, left, and Piedra Vista's Victor Alba fight for possession on Tuesday at Piedra Vista High School.

“We had about 10 minutes in the first half where we had a complete mental breakdown, and it cost us big time,” Aztec coach Stephen Parks said.

The miscues led to all five of PV’s goals coming in the first half. PV coach Carlos Yllescas said PV’s ability to capitalize on the mistakes with intense and fast play made it tough for Aztec to respond.

Angel Flores scored three goals for the Panthers while Max Eisenfeld and Victor Alba added a goal apiece.

The win also saw some positional changes for the Panthers, who moved a few players around to bolster the defense.

“We needed to make some adjustments to be a little more solid,” Yllescas said. “I changed some players into different positions. I like to move players around to see what fits their skills best, so today we put more speed in the back to feel a little safer.”

Aside from the mental block in the first half, Parks said he was pleased with the progress the Tigers have made in the early part of the season. After a short amount of time with Parks in the preseason, the Tigers were forced to play catchup and learn their new system during games. But after Aztec got a few days between matches to look over film and practice, Parks said the Tigers showed a great ability to make the changes he wants to see.

Piedra Vista's Angel Flores, right, celebrates with teammate Elijah Warner after after Flores scored a goal against Aztec on Tuesday at Piedra Vista High School.

“We still need to improve, but I’m proud of the progress the boys showed tonight,” Parks said. “We played a tie game in the second half, and I think it was really good for them to see that and build their confidence.”

While the Panthers got the one-sided win, Yllescas said he wants his team to take a more aggressive approach with continued focus, which he has been preaching all season.

“We still need to have better speed of play and put more pressure on teams,” he said. “We need to be aggressive and focus. That has been a problem with the team. We have moments that we don’t focus and we give up a goal.”

Aztec will host Durango, Colo., (2-1) on Thursday.

PV will be off until Sept. 17 when the Panthers travel to Los Alamos to challenge the Hilltoppers (4-1).

Bernalillo 10, Bloomfield 1

The Bloomfield boys soccer team is still searching for its first win of the season after suffering a 10-1 loss to Bernalillo today at Bobcat Stadium in Bloomfield.

Bloomfield coach Scott Reid could not be reached for comment.

The Bobcats (0-6-1) will play at Los Alamos (4-1) on Sept. 15.

Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He could be reached at 505-564-4648.