Riding a three-game winning streak, the Miyamura boys’ soccer team is in a two-way tie for first place with Farmington High in 5A District 1.
Miyamura opened their 2016 season without a single victory, but the Patriots could not have picked a better time to be playing their best ball.
“I really feel like we’ve grown as a team,” Miyamura coach Garrett Stolz said. “There is not just one thing that is drastically different. I think because I was a new coach and I was getting to know my guys it was learning process.”
Stolz said the first part of the season was a little rough as the Patriots went 0-8-1 but they have shown that hard work does pay off.
“We have taken every day to get better,” he said. “A lot of credit goes to the seniors. They have stepped up and embraced the things that I am trying to get across to them. They are influencing the younger guys, getting them invested into what we are trying to achieve.”
In district play, Miyamura opened that portion of the season with a 2-1 win over Bloomfield on Sept. 20 and on Sept. 22 they outlasted Gallup 3-2.
On Tuesday, the Patriots were awarded a penalty kick as they avenged an earlier loss to Kirtland Central with a 2-1 victory at Miyamura High School. At the Aztec Invitational, the Broncos blanked Miyamura, 4-0.
Stolz said a hand ball penalty was called as the Patriots had the ball inside Kirtland’s penalty area late in the second half. With that sophomore forward Jacob Mortensen booted the PK.
From his view, Kirtland coach Noel Camacho said it did not look like a hand ball penalty but the refs determined it was.
“That took the air out of my players,” Camacho said. “They just stopped playing and it demoralized them.”