FARMINGTON — The Farmington girls soccer team lost a defensive struggle to a top-10 team in the state tonight when Hope Christian beat the Lady Scorpions 1-0 at Hutchison Stadium.
Ava Rupp — a sophomore at Hope Christian (12-3-1), which is currently ranked sixth in the state by MaxPreps.com — redirected a corner kick with her head for a goal 10 minutes into the nondistrict match. The Lady Huskies then battled Farmington (11-4-1, 6-0 District 1-5A) to a scoreless stalemate for roughly 70 minutes.
"The girls settled it down (after the goal), and I would even say they had the advantage, possession wise," Lady Scorps coach Brynn Chavez Cochran said. "We had it most of the first half."
Farmington's offense took a hit right before halftime when center midfielder Mikayla Aragon went down with a sprained ankle and did not return.
Chavez Cochran said the loss of Aragon disrupted the flow of the offense.
"That center mid, that's a pretty crucial spot," Chavez Cochran said. "But I couldn't be prouder of the girls, they had a lot of fight in them tonight."
The Lady Scorps made things interesting after halftime by nearly cashing in on a couple of different shot attempts. Eliza Merrion had an open look late in the contest but was thwarted by Hope's goaltender.
Farmington has a quick turnaround and visits Kirtland Central (5-9, 2-4) for a 4 p.m. game on Tuesday. Chavez Cochran said she's confident her team will bounce back.
"For it being a loss, I think the girls knew they played good," she said. "They're ready for tomorrow, and for Thursday's game (versus Aztec). They have their sights set on these games."
Hope Christian 5, Farmington 3
The Farmington boys got into a bit of a slugfest with Hope Christian tonight in Albuquerque before the Scorps ultimately lost 5-3 after giving up a pair of late-game goals.
The Huskies (12-3-1) went up 2-0 before Ned Merrion cut the hosts' lead in half with a score for Farmington (8-7, 6-0 District 1-5A).
Hope increased its lead to 3-1 just after halftime, but then junior Joey Rodriguez brought the Scorps back into the game with back-to-back goals to knot the game at 3.
"Joey's a very inexperienced but intelligent kid who's almost too nice sometimes," FHS coach Byron Farnsworth said. "He showed what he's capable of tonight. I think as he gets a little more aggressive and a little more hungry, he's going to be a great striker and goal scorer for us."
The Huskies managed to rebound with two goals inside the final 10 minutes of the match against a Farmington team that was without two starters who were banged up during Saturday's thriller with Albuquerque Academy.
The Scorps host Kirtland Central (5-7, 2-4) — a team they beat 12-2 on Sept. 22 — at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Cleveland 5, Piedra Vista 1
The Panthers struck first against Cleveland on the road tonight, but fell apart after that and lost 5-1.
A great offensive build-up early in the first half culminated with Connor McPheeters booting a ball over the head of Cleveland's goalie to put Piedra Vista (6-10-1, 0-5 District 1-6A) on the board first.
But repeated defensive miscues on PV's part gave the Storm (13-4, 2-3) an edge for the rest of the match.
"These teams in 6A know how to move the ball, they know how to pressure the ball, and when you make mistakes like we did, they take advantage," PV coach Carlos Yllescas said. "That has been one of the major things for us this season, is defensive mistakes."
Yllescas said he still thinks his team is improving game by game, but to take that next step — which is winning their first district game — the Panthers will have to clean up their defense.
PV will face Cleveland again on Saturday at home.
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.