Eagles blank Cats

By Dave Wagner
Sports writer
dwagner@cnjonline.com
Apparently headed into halftime scoreless, the Hobbs Eagles stole Clovis High’s thunder on Tuesday night.

Senior defender Arturo Miranda broke down the middle and pushed a shot into the right corner of the net with 10 seconds left in the half, and that stood up for a 1-0 Eagles victory in the District 4-6A opener for both teams at Leon Williams Stadium.

Hobbs (9-4-2) managed to hang on after surviving some near-misses by the Cats (8-6-1), particularly early, including a header from well inside the box by junior Sergio Soto that bounced off the post with about 10 minutes left in the half.

“We gave up a goal with 10 seconds left in the half,” CHS coach Greg Trujillo lamented. “We had three shots tonight that hit the crossbar. It just wasn’t our day.

“We lost the midfield for a while for about the last 10 minutes of the half, and it cost us.”

Hobbs coach Jose Mares was happy to sneak out with the win.

“They had the energy early, and we were kind of flat,” he said. “After we started moving the ball, things changed.

“It’s district; we’ll take it. It’s always a physical battle with Clovis, but it’s usually a good game.”

The Eagles almost had a second goal in the second half, but CHS goalkeeper Orion Garcia made a lunging save to keep the Cats in striking distance.

Freshman goalkeeper Tristan Zambrano earned the shutout, making four saves.

Clovis had to deal with injuries to junior midfielder/defender Drew Kernan and Soto during the match. Kernan left for a while after getting the wind knocked out of him, then may have suffered a broken collarbone later in the contest, while Soto came out with an ankle injury.

Kernan’s injury could keep him out for the rest of the season, Trujillo said.

No excuses, though, he added.

“My hat’s off to them,” said Trujillo, a Hobbs alum. “They’ve played a tougher schedule this year than we have, and they held it together.”

The Cats return to action with a 3 p.m. district match on Saturday at Alamogordo.