Prep soccer | Lady Lynx aiming for at large playoff bid
A playoff picture is still in play for the Rehoboth Christian girls soccer team.
Eight teams will make the Class A/3A playoffs with three automatic (district champions) bids and five at-large teams making the field. The state pairings will be released on Oct. 23 by the New Mexico Activities Association.
“We have a very strong chance of going to state,” first-year coach Jenny LoPatriello said. “We just have to play well.”
In the latest Maxpreps.com ranking, the Lady Lynx were holding onto the No. 8 spot as Rehoboth is coming off a 2-0 defeat to No. 3 Bosque on Saturday.
The loss dropped Rehoboth’s record to 6-7-1 overall and 1-3 in District 1-A/3A play. The Lynx edged Navajo Prep 1-0 on Sept. 29 for its lone district win.
“This is my first season with these girls, so there’s a lot of me learning about the players and girls transitioning to play new positions,” LoPatriello said. “We are playing a different formation than what they’ve played before, and so the season started out slow to where they were learning a lot.
“The girls really picked it up, and we played a great game against Grants and Socorro,” she said. “We had a couple of hard losses, and then we beat Navajo Prep, and I feel like we’re coming back up.”
LoPatriello said her club played really well against Bosque, holding the Lady Bobcats to only two goals. Before Saturday’s game, Bosque had scored 58 goals in 14 games.
“They played defense really well,” the Rehoboth coach said. “This team (Bosque) has beaten other teams by a much greater margin, and for us to hold them is a win for us.”
Sophomore Ainsley Capps and freshman Rose Candelaria had a goal each for the visiting Bobcats.
Meanwhile, Rehoboth had a few opportunities go awry as the shots they made were either caught by Bosque goalie Safiya Darugar or fell to the wayside.
“We had shots on goal, and the girls played beautiful, beautiful soccer,” LoPatriello said. “They won lots of balls in the midfield, the defense held the line really well, and then our forwards had shots on goal.”
With a mixture of youth and veterans on her squad, LoPatriello said her team is coming along.
“They’re doing great,” she said. “They have worked really hard this season. They are really coming into their positions, and they understand the game really well. So, yeah, I’m really proud of the veterans and the newer players.”
The Rehoboth coach said she’s had several players step up. They include junior forward Aleida Zystra, sophomore midfielder Asher Arviso, sophomore midfielder Meg Zwiers and in the back line senior Maggi Van Drunen and junior Elysia Choudrie.
“We’ve had a lot of players that have had multiple good games,” LoPatriello said. “Those five players have been stellar this season, and they had a really good game.”
With the district race at its midway point, LoPatriello is looking for her team to beat Navajo Prep and East Mountain to stay in contention for an at-large bid for the playoffs.
“We need to beat those two teams,” she said. “We’re hoping to have a really good game against Bosque next time. We would love a win against them.”
As for district frontrunner and top-ranked Albuquerque Sandia Prep, LoPatriello said they’re looking to keep it at a low-scoring contest.
“You have to change your formation when you play them,” LoPatriello said of Sandia Prep. “You got to play defense, and you have to problem solve all of the forwards that they have.
“You’re not gonna get as many counterattacks as you normally would,” she added, “so you have to change up your formation to try to shut down as many goals as you can.”
Navajo Times | Quentin Jodie
Bosque Bobcat Ophie Ruddle dribbles the ball away from Rehoboth Christian’s Alieda Zylstra on Saturday. The Lady Lynx dropped a 2-0 decision to the visiting Bosque team.