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Aztec girls win back-to-back district titles

Aztec girls win back-to-back district titles


The state seedings for the New Mexico soccer playoffs will be released on Sunday afternoon, with the Aztec Lady Tigers being the District 1-4A frontrunner.

In a must-win, Aztec defeated Gallup 4-1 on Thursday to claim the district title for the second year under head coach Leroy Begay.

The Tigers finished the district campaign with a 9-1 record, edging Kirtland Central (8-1-1) for the league crown.

Navajo Times | Quentin Jodie
Aztec head coach Leroy Nelson high-fives Lady Tiger goalie Marissa Day on Oct. 6 against the Miyamura Lady Patriots. The Lady Tigers secured the District 1-4A title on Thursday with a 4-1 win over Gallup.

“We needed this ‘W’ tonight,” Begay said. “We couldn’t afford a loss or even a tie because if we tied, they (Kirtland) had the advantage in points.”

Freshman Autumn Villanueva finished with two goals on the day, while junior Stella Albright and eighth-grader Aubrey Thornton netted one each.

Despite going through a tough stretch before the district season, Begay said his team powered through as they overcame some adversity.

“Overall, we’re just overwhelmed with joy,” Begay said of winning back-to-back district titles under his helm. “All of the hard work they put in paid off, even though we took our lumps at the beginning of the season with this young team.

“We advanced ourselves to where each individual was coachable and willing to learn,” he added. “They took in what we coached them, and now we’ve won another district title.”

The top four seeds in the 12-team playoff bracket will have a bye into the next round.

Teams seeded fifth to No. 8 will host a first-round game, with the winner’s advancing.

“To be realistic, I like for us to be the sixth seed,” Begay said. “We’re at seven now, but I would like us to move up another spot.”

About The Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at qjodie@navajotimes.com


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