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Coyotes to face Los Alamos in Quarterfinals

Roswell High School junior Cristian Moreno takes a shot on goal against Artesia Friday at the Cielo Grande Soccer Complex. (David Rocha Photo)

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The No. 1 goal for any team left playing soccer in the state tournament is to survive and advance. Roswell’s coach James Vernon team did so thanks to a strong second-half performance from Robert Madrid, Samuel Calvillo and senior Patrick Brown.

Those three players scored goals in leading Roswell to another quarterfinal appearance, with a victory over the Deming Wildcats, 3-1, at the Cielo Grande Soccer Complex Friday. In a season in which Vernon has had to develop his team on the fly after replacing 13 seniors from last season’s squad, Vernon has his team advancing to the quarterfinals for 13th time in 14years.

“We knew Deming could play,” Vernon said. “Their district is pretty tough with all the quality teams they play. It took us a bit to get going. We weren’t used to their physicality in the midfield we had played against. In this game, it was a little tougher for us to take the midfield, because they came and fought for it.”

In the first-half, both teams jockeyed for field position trading shots on goal. Deming keyed on Coyotes sophomore Samuel Calvillo for much of the first-half, Calvillo managed to get three contested shots off, all of them missing the back of the net. To counter the constant pressure on Calvillo, Roswell created movement in the center midfield to get off the ball setting up the first goal.

The first goal came on a Coyote player passed the ball up the middle to Calvillo. Calvillo passed the ball to Robert Madrid on the run in the middle of the field; Madrid kicked the ball past the Wildcats goalie to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead with 20:22 to play in the game.

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“Sammy (Calvillo) got a good play,” Madrid said, “he (Calvillo) saw me running through and played the ball to me. Deming’s a quality team; they’re decent, and they know how to play good defense. They are talented. Los Alamos beat us earlier in the year. We were a young team still learning at the time. We’ve gotten better since then, we’ve improved, our passing has improved as a team.”

On a free kick, Roswell’s Jonathan Ortega passed the ball to Calvillo at the 30-yard mark. Calvillo dribbled the ball to the 18- yard mark, taking a shot that sailed into the back of the net to put the Coyotes up, 2-0 with 17:32 to play in the game.

“We practice our free kick plays quite a bit,” Vernon said. “Anyone in our district knows our plays. Yes, we use them a lot, but we are successful with them. The whole idea is to split the defense, and the guys on the backside spread out on that far side, that leaves a gap right down the middle. Once we have that touch in the middle we have a free shot on goal.”

Once the Coyotes scored in the second-half, points came fast with the third goal coming with 12:08 left to play in the game. During a scrum, the ball came off a Wildcat defensive player, which bounced to Madrid who dropped the ball to Patrick Brown from 20-yards out yelling at him to “rip the shot.” Rip, Brown did, hitting an Upper 90 over the outstretched arms of the goalie who jumped in vain as the ball sailed the top of the right corner scoring to give Roswell a 3-0 lead.

“They’re (Deming) a quality team,” Brown said. “We came in mentally ready for this game. No one was messing around pregame everyone came in ready to play. At that point, we had the skill and mental advantage, and it’s tough to beat us at that point.”

In facing Los Alamos, Brown feels like the Coyotes have to markup midfield and not let Los Alamos pass around them like the Wildcats did in today’s game. Roswell gave up two goals against Los Alamos in the first half when they played on September 9, in the Albuquerque Academy Tournament.

“We are going to go and try to play them,” Vernon said. “I think we can do it. We just have to show up.”

Roswell (15-5), will face Los Alamos (14-6), at 1 p.m. on Thursday at the Bernalillo Soccer Complex.

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