On paper - and due to the low score - it would seem the District 2-4A soccer opener between 9-1 Taos and 8-5 Los Alamos was a purely defensive …
On paper - and due to the low score - it would seem the District 2-4A soccer opener between 9-1 Taos and 8-5 Los Alamos was a purely defensive tussle. But the reality on the field was that both teams had their chances to score multiple goals and come away with a pivotal win. Instead, teams played to an even draw.
The Hilltoppers versus the Tigers at Taos Eco Park Oct. 9 turned out to be an evenly matched tilt offered up by two teams equal in speed, skill and heart. Final score: Taos 0, Los Alamos 0.
In the last five matches between these close neighbors stretching back to 2010, Los Alamos held an edge over Taos in total wins and goals scored. In 2016 and 2017, the Hilltoppers blanked the Tigers 5-0 and 4-0 respectively. And in 2014, LA won the nonconference match by a 2-1 margin. Taos was victorious in single games played in 2010 (3-0) and 2016 (3-1). The Toppers and Tigers did not play each other for three years from 2011 to 2013.
The inclement weather may have contributed to the lack of scoring, but it certainly did not dampen the spirits of each team's forwards and midfielders. For example, Taos goalkeeper, Milo Collignon had to thwart 15 shots on goal from concentrated attacks throughout the match in cold, dark and, wet conditions. Taos was equally aggressive on the offensive side and came close on several attempts from both wings but could not find a proper window.
Fueled by the pressure to beat the clock at the end of regulation, each team pursued attacks up the middle of the field or attempted long-distance strikes. The draw forced two 10-minute overtime periods with the stalemate continuing through each of the extra periods.
"They were as good as we expected them to be," said Taos co-captain, Skylar Magee, who provided a game-saving tackle deep in his own territory in the waning moments of regulation. "This is a very good Los Alamos team who put a lot of pressure on our back line. But our guys did their job and held them off."
The tie could provide some high-stakes drama late next week as the two powerhouse teams battle for district supremacy when they meet up again in Los Alamos Oct. 19.
The Taos girls team played its district opener as well following the boy's game, but fell 7-0.
With the tie, Taos now sits at 9-1-1 overall. Their next game is on the road against the Pojoaque Valley Elks today (Oct. 11) at 3:30 p.m.
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