New Mexico state soccer brackets released: 6 local teams make field
The New Mexico state soccer playoffs get underway this week, with six local teams making the field.
The Class 4A and 5A first rounds start on Tuesday in the 12-team brackets, with the top four seeds earning byes.
The next four seeds will host the first-round game, with the winners advancing into the next round at the sites of the higher seeds on Friday or Saturday.
Of the 12 teams, District 1-4A got three girls teams in, with district champ Aztec earning the No. 6 seed. The Lady Tigers will host No. 11 Valencia at 6:30 p.m.
“Overall, as a team, we’re excited about getting the No. 6 seed,” Aztec coach Leroy Nelson said. “But, we have to take it one game at a time. We’re not going to take Valencia lightly. We got to go in there and do our jobs and put the ball into the net.”
And although his varsity squad has not played Valencia this year, the Aztec JV dropped a 1-0 decision to Valencia during the Navajo Prep championship game in early September.
“I was there, and we videoed the game,” he said. “Back then, I didn’t think we would see them, but lo and behold, we’re playing them again.
“I have a good idea of how they play,” he added. “During that tournament, I took notes on who their strikers were and who their midfielders were.”
The Kirtland Central girls, the district’s reserve champion, will entertain league member Bloomfield at 6 p.m. in a No. 7 vs. 10 matchup.
In the boys bracket, Miyamura garnered the No. 10 seed, and they will travel to No. 5 Highland in Albuquerque at 6:30 p.m.
This is the Patriots’ second consecutive trip to the playoffs under head coach Ralph Castaneda. Before that, Miyamura’s playoff qualification came during the 2013 season.
“The kids are elated to be there, and it’s an accomplishment for them,” Castaneda said. “I can’t express how happy I am for us to get a second chance at state. The hard work they’ve been putting in since June is paying off.”
At 4 p.m., No. 12 Kirtland Central will play at fifth seed St. Pius.
The Class A-3A bracket features eight teams, with the Rehoboth Christian girls being the lone qualifier.
The Lady Lynx was seeded eighth, and they will take on top-seeded Sandia Prep on Saturday at 11 a.m.