Cimarron-Memorial’s boys soccer team had 12 days off between its regular-season finale, and its Mountain Region opener at Bettye Wilson Park on Tuesday afternoon.
Plenty of rest.
Very little rust.
The top-seeded Spartans rolled to a 6-3 victory over Canyon Springs to earn a berth in the tournament semifinals, in which they’ll meet Eldorado on Thursday. Cimarron-Memorial senior forward George Alcazar had a hat trick, and said his team rediscovered its groove after scoring its first goal in the first half.
“Once we got the first goal, we knew we could do more,” he said. “Once we scored one, after the second and after the third, we brought our confidence.”
Jimi Villasenor, Fernando Pito Gonzalez and Fernando Arevalo added goals for the Spartans (20-1-2), who built on a 2-1 halftime lead with four second-half goals. Diego Juarez had two assists, and Arevalo and Said Lopez had one apiece.
“We tried to make the (layoff) as productive as possible,” Cimarron coach Mark Bailey said. “It could have gone both ways. … Now we’re back in it, and the goal is next game, next game, next game.”
The Spartans have been ranked in the USA Today/United Soccer Coaches Super 25 Fall Boys Region VIII poll for much of the season, and, as a No. 1 seed are one of the favorites to win the Class 4A state championship.
Bailey said midseason victories over other top programs like Las Vegas and Palo Verde strengthened his belief that they could make a state championship run. They’ll clinch their second region title with two more wins as they search for the first state championship in program history.
“It’s going to take winning on Thursday and then winning on Saturday,” Bailey said. “You’ve got to win two more games, and then deal with state when state comes.”
The Pioneers finish their season 9-7-2
Las Vegas 8, Arbor View 0 — At Bettye Wilson Park, Daniel Rangel scored three goals to help the Wildcats (15-1-1) coast by the Aggies in quarterfinal play.
Anthony Gonzalez scored two goals for Las Vegas, which plays Palo Verde in the semifinals.
Erick Salazar, Ezequell Coronel and Sergio Aguayo scored one goal apiece, and Rodolfo Gomez had two saves to secure the clean sheet.
Arbor View finishes its season 9-13-1.
Eldorado 4, Centennial 0 — At Bettye Wilson Park, Leonel Sedano and Victor Moran scored two goals apiece to help the Sundevils (11-6-2) blank the Bulldogs.
Emiliano Garcia had two saves to secure the clean sheet for Eldorado.
Centennial finishes its season 7-8-4.
Palo Verde 7, Desert Pines 1 — At Bettye Wilson Park, Anthony Kaskie and Michael Vogel scored two goals apiece to help the Panthers knock off the Jaguars.
Cole Lawrence, Luis Flores and Cole Wener added goals for Palo Verde (17-3-3), and Nestor Vivero-Mera scored for Desert Pines.
The Jaguars finish 12-11-1.