One thing you can say about the girls soccer teams at Ruidoso and Lovington – they seem to be evenly matched.
In three games this season, Lovington has won the series after a 3-1 victory at Lovington on Oct. 13. But Ruidoso was able to win at home two weeks before, 3-2.
That’s after the teams faced off at the Roswell Alien City tournament to start the season, with the Lady Wildcats winning that one 3-1.
“We seem to have the same quality girls that they do,” said Ruidoso girls coach Manuel Medrano.
It’s not that Ruidoso (4-5) was playing badly. Indeed, they were able to get the ball past the Lady Wildcat defense pretty effectively.
But whenever they’d get the ball to the scorebox, they couldn’t get the ball in the goal.
“They had great passing and were communicating,” Medrano said. “The only problem was we couldn’t finish the plays.”
Ruidoso has a match this Saturday at Goddard before returning home, Sept. 20, to start District 4-4A/1A play against Moriarty.
“We’re working on finishing all this week,” Medrano said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to put that into practice on Saturday.”
While the Ruidoso girls have been competitive, the Warrior boys have struggled, losing their fifth straight game to Lovington Tuesday, 6-0.
In that streak, Ruidoso (1-5) hasn’t scored a single goal.
The Warriors are hampered by injuries, missing leading scorer Aldo Cardenas, leading defender Jose Enriquez and Junior Christian Garcia.
“Talking is killing us in the back,” said Ruidoso coach Jamie Newsome of his team’s defensive struggles. “We have no speed up front right now, but Christian is supposed to be back next week, as will Aldo. Three key players gone is hurting us bad.”
At the very least, the Warriors held Lovington to just one goal in the second half.
“They played like they were supposed to in the second half,” Newsome said. “I just need to get them to turn the switch on in the first half.”
Ruidoso, likewise, starts its district season Sept. 20 against Moriarty, but doesn’t have any games before that.
The long layoff is welcome for Newsome, sort of.
“If we can mend our injuries, we can get these guys back to where they need to be,” Newsome said. “But for the ones that are young and learning, we still need them in games. They need experience.”