District soccer to begin

By Dave Wagner
Sports writer
dwagner@cnjonline.com
The Clovis High girls soccer team has been here before.

In recent years, the Lady Wildcats have done well and built a good record early in the season, only to come up short when district play gets under way.

Fourth-year coach Traci Sievers is looking for her first win in district play.

Clovis (9-2-1) visits Hobbs (10-3-1) in a 5 p.m. clash today to begin District 4-6A competition. Boys teams from the two schools meet at 6 p.m. today at Leon Williams Stadium.

“I think the girls are ready,” Sievers said. “They’re excited to start district.”

On paper, she said, it appears the district is up for grabs. Despite glowing records, the Lady Cats, Lady Eagles and Carlsbad (11-4) are ranked ninth, 10th and 11th, respectively, in 6A.

Sievers would like to think this is the Lady Cats’ year.

“If you look at head-to-head scores, we’re right there,” she said. “It’s just a matter of breaking through.”

In the shuffle from what was Class 5A to 6A this year, Alamogordo has joined the district. Sievers said she doesn’t know much about the Lady Tigers (6-6-1).

Clovis has the leading scorer in 6A in senior Ashley Gallagher, who has 42 points on 14 goals and 14 assists. Junior Samantha Meza (15 and 8) ranks third with 38 points while freshman Jaci Sievers, the coach’s daughter, is ninth with 26 (9 and 8).

Most of the Lady Cats players were on the varsity a year ago.

“We’ve been here before,” coach Sievers said. “That sense of urgency, the experience. … We can talk about, but unless we actually do it it’s hard to rely on experience.”

Meantime, the boys are looking for a third consecutive district title and fourth in five years.

Hobbs (8-4-2) is just ahead of the Wildcats (8-5-1) record-wise, but Cats coach Greg Trujillo said the Eagles have played a more difficult schedule.

“Hobbs is going to be a tough match,” he said. “It should be a good game. We’ve made some adjustments lately on defense, and hopefully that will pay off.”

Carlsbad (6-7-1) could also make some noise, Trujillo said. With just one win so far, Alamogordo appears to be behind the other three.

Hobbs is coming off overtime wins over Class 4A powers Sandia Prep and St. Michael’s over the weekend in a tournament at Albuquerque.

“We have to take advantage of our opportunities,” Trujillo said. “Hobbs has a balanced team. They possess the ball with their defense and work their way upfield.”