Tiger soccer faced off against a fast, experienced team Saturday in Tiger Stadium when they welcomed district rival Hatch Valley onto their field, battling hard to the end of the match, through 80 minutes of regulation but having to accept an 8-1 loss.
Tigers hold for the first eight minutes of the half, despite repeated attempts by Hatch, and with the ball on their side of the field, being forced to play defense. There were repeated and spectacular saves by Tiger Goalkeeper Jesus Rios. After achieving their first goal, Tiger defense tightened again, depriving attempt after attempt, both through the skill and sustained efforts of the field defenders and Rios at the net. After 12 minutes, Hatch managed one more goal, with the last two for the half coming in the final couple of minutes before the break.
After the intermission, it was the Tigers who hit first, scoring just two minutes into the half. A precisely executed corner kick by Miguel Guaderrama fed Daniel Garcia, who cut to the front of the goal area and competed the play, putting it high into the net for the Tiger’s point.
Tiger defense held tight for over twenty minutes after scoring, and the Hatch team found their attacks stymied by coordinated teamwork and a strategy of denying them the center attack that they prefer.
It was 25 minutes into the second half that the Bears were finally able to score, running their lead to 1-5 over our Tigers. Then, fatigue on the Tigers side and the experience of the Hatch squad prevailed and they were able to score three more times leading up to the whistle that ended the half, and the game.
A road match against second ranked in the state NMMI Tuesday, October 19 resulted in a 1-9 loss by our Tigers. We are still awaiting stats on the matchup, but it has been a while since the Tigers had a match that was called before the end of regulation due to the score. In soccer, a ten-point lead ends the match and our improved and determined Tigers are avoiding that outcome more often than ever.
The Tiger’s end their season Saturday, October 23 at Tiger stadium, in a rematch taking on the Socorro Warriors. Action starts at 1:00 p.m. and the team is urging all Tiger fans to be there to lend their support.