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Athletics Weekend in Review: State Champions, District Champions, and Plenty More


The girls soccer poses after they are crowned state champions. Photo courtesy of Lexie Keller

What a week it was for La Cueva High School athletics. From district champions to state placers and runner-ups, all the way up to state champions, it was one full of action. Here’s all the details of what happened:

Volleyball claims District 2-6A Tournament Championship and gets State Seeding:

The highly-talented volleyball team at La Cueva pulled off the District 2-6A tournament championship with a 3-1 win over the Sandia Matadors Saturday. That led to them finding out on Sunday evening they were the #2 seed in the state volleyball tournament and will start play in Pool #2, with the #7 Cleveland Storm and the #11 Cibola Cougars. If they place first in the pool, they start with a bye in the bracket. Second or third place gets them in the play-in bracket games.

Boys Cross Country finishes 5th and Girls finish 8th in State Championships:

The boys and girls cross country teams finished fifth and eighth in their state championships on Saturday. The boys team was lead by Trace Johnson, who ran a 17:05.75 and the girls cross country team was led by Brynn Esplin, who ran a 20:58.20.

Boys soccer barely falls to Albuquerque High, claim runner-up in state tournament:

The boys soccer team gave it their all, but fell short to the #1 seed Albuquerque High Bulldogs in a back-and-forth contest, by a score of 3-2. The Bulldogs’ Carlos Gutierrez got the scoring started early for them in the 34th minute, as he was a big factor in ABQ High’s success this year, also getting the assist from Bulldog captain Luca Seazzu. The Bears answered back five minutes later on a Marco Monetti goal on the assist from Chris Manning. The score was tied 1-1 at halftime. The scoring got started again in the second half on a goal by Rado Josoa for the Bulldogs on the assist from Gutierrez. But the Bears again answered back 14 minutes later on a penalty kick by Manning, but the deal was finally sealed by the Bulldogs on a penalty kick by Gutierrez to make it 3-2 final score. “We had a great year,” boys soccer coach Easy Jimenez said to the Albuquerque Journal. “And it was a great team. I couldn’t ask any more from the guys. My heart’s full.”

Girls soccer takes home 16th state championship, defeats Cleveland on a “Golden Goal”:

The girls soccer team claimed their 16th state championship in program history with a win over the Cleveland Storm in OT, 1-0 on the “Golden Goal” by junior Hannah Rivera. After the girls team was beaten in the state final the past two years by the Cibola Cougars, they finally secured the state title they have been waiting a long time for. The game was a total deadlock until the goal by Rivera on the assist from Deja Sandoval was the first to get into the net the entire game. “I am so happy for my team, and especially my seniors,” said girls soccer coach Amber Ashcraft to the Albuquerque Journal. “So many of them have been on this team the past two years, and they were finally able to get it.”

Along with these athletics having a good week, the ROTC program finished first in one of their competitions this week, and our marching band finished second in class in the Bands of America competition in St. George, Utah.


Boys and Girls Soccer Squads Earn #1 and #2 Seeds in State Tourney



The La Cueva Girls Soccer team celebrates their district championship. Photo Credit to the Girls Soccer Team.

The highly-regarded boys and girls soccer teams of La Cueva earned big recognition for their success, as the girls soccer team earned the #1 seed in the 2017 State Soccer Playoffs, and the boys soccer team earned the #2 seed in their state soccer playoffs, as announced Sunday evening.

The girls soccer team finished 17-1 on the season, their only loss this season coming early on from the Volcano Vista Hawks. But from then on, the girls haven’t stopped winning games and a tie is not shown on the record. “I’m so super proud of my team. They have worked hard all season long,” said head coach Amber Ashcraft. “They have answered everything thrown at them.” The team also has a bye week before their next match-up, in which Coach Ashcraft noted that they will be getting into better shape, working on tactical formations and enjoying their last days together as a team.

The Lady Bears will face the winner of the #8 vs. #9 match-up between the Carlsbad Cavemen and the Sandia Matadors on November 2nd at 3:00 pm.

As for the boys soccer team, they finished their season undefeated with a record of 14-0-4. “I am so proud of them (his team) this year. They have really come together as a team,” said head coach Easy Jimenez. “We have had a lot going on with injuries and a lot of my players have stepped up and filled those positions.” Coach Jimenez said he will be using this bye week to learn two different types of offensive schemes and defensive schemes.

The Bears will face the winner of the #7 vs. #10 match-up between Volcano Vista and the Gadsden Panthers also on November 2nd at 3:00 pm.

Be sure and head out to the Bernalillo Soccer Complex for both games and support our Bears!





The La Cueva girls golf team starting out this fall season with a win. Photo by Mackenzie Balduini

Swing, putt, chip, and drive, they can do it all. Our La Cueva girls golf team is starting the fall season off well by winning their first tournament of the season. They beat Cleveland, their biggest rivals, by 50 strokes. Along with the Storm, they also played against Sandia, Eldorado, and Manzano during the tournament.

The five varsity players on the girls golf team are Mackenzie Balduini, Kennedi Rose, Eleanna Carris, Victoria and Caroline Jamharian. They are preparing for state this whole season to defend the state title they won last year.

“We are mostly on the range or we are playing mostly for qualifying,” Balduini said. “We qualify for tournaments by determining the order of our team. We have five qualifying rounds and that sets the line up, whoever shoots the best is number one.”

They practice Monday through Thursday at 3:00 pm at Arroyo Del Oso. The girls next tournament is Tuesday. October 10th, at Ladera Golf Course, so come support our La Cueva Golf!