RUIDOSO – When the season winds down with playoff berths pretty much out of the picture, how do you motivate your team?
That’s the challenge posed to Ruidoso boys and girls soccer coaches Jamie Newsome and Manuel Medrano, after the teams were swept by Hope Christian, Oct. 15, at Ruidoso Middle School.
The Warrior boys lost 6-0 in the first game, while the girls lost 5-0 in the followup game.
Saturday marked the Warrior boys’ 15th straight loss after a season-opening victory over the Las Cruces JV, and was the 11th time they’d been shut out.
However, they were only 10-goaled one time in that stretch – by Alamogordo.
They’d also been playing better of late – with 5-2 and 3-2 losses to Portales and Hatch. A 2-0 loss to Moriarty also showed Ruidoso (1-15, 0-7 District 4-4A/1A) might be turning the corner against solid teams.
But then came a 9-1 loss at New Mexico Military Institute on Oct. 11, and the loss to Hope Christian was the final nail in the coffin.
There’s still one more game against Portales, though.
“I’m hoping all my players show up, we were missing one today that we could have really used,” Newsome said. “If we have them all there and are all healthy, we can give them a good game.”
Hope Christian (14-3-1, 6-0-1) pressed the attack early, keeping the ball on the Warriors’ side of the field almost exclusively.
Steven Lee got two goals in for the Huskies before the break, one after three saves in a row by Warrior goal keeper Edder Bravo.
Four more goals in the second half were all Hope Christian could score in the match, just one more than they did when the teams faced off in Albuquerque.
Things really started going bad when the yellow cards got handed out – two for Ruidoso, one for the Huskies.
“We gave them a good game in the first half, but they started unraveling,” Newsome said. “They started playing sloppy and let it get away from them.”
For the girls, things went south fast, as Hope Christian got a score with less than three minutes elapsed in the game.
But while the Lady Huskies (14-3-1, 5-0) were up 5-0 by the break, that’s all the goals they could get for the game.
“The first half wasn’t good,” Medrano said. “The girls were nervous and under a lot of pressure.”
Ruidoso (6-11-1, 1-4) is now looking ahead to Thursday when they face Portales, a team they defeated two weeks ago.
While they’ve already beaten the Lady Rams, Medrano warned against having high expectations.
“I’ve told the girls, every game is different,” Medrano said. “Just because we beat this team doesn’t mean we’ll go and beat them every time. We won’t go over there thinking we already have the win.”