Portales soccer squads get set for state

The Portales Rams didn't fare too well against New Mexico Military Institute in two matches earlier this season — both outings resulted in 4-0 losses.

"They were probably our two worst games all year," Rams coach Brian Kirchner said. "They (Colts) seem to have our number a little bit."

The Rams (10-8), seeded 10th, get another crack at NMMI on Saturday in a round-of-12 Class 1A-3A state playoff matchup in Roswell, set for 11 a.m. Meantime, the PHS girls travel to Albuquerque on Saturday to play Bosque in another first-round tilt.

Winners on Saturday travel to Albuquerque for quarterfinal play on Thursday.

Kirchner, whose team reached the state finals last year before losing to top-seeded Sandia Prep, said he doesn't think his team's draw is that bad.

"It's probably a pretty good draw because we kind of know what to expect," he said. "We're just going to have to change some stuff up and play a better game."

The Colts (9-8), seeded seventh, are led by senior forward Jorge Garza, who has 22 goals this season.

"We've just got to play a full game," Kirchner said. "Both times we played the first half good, but the second half was a real letdown."

He said the Colts play a wide open style that Portales doesn't see that often in district play.

"They just a very, very different team than what we're used to," he said. "A lot of our district teams play a possession gam, and they're kind of run-and-gun.

"If we can play good team ball, and keep the ball moving and work together, I'd assume we might do all right."

The Lady Rams (6-12-1), also seeded 10th, have played better of late and coach Megan Wilson is hoping they go into Saturday's matchup with some confidence.

"We've started to come together toward the end of the season," she said. "Hopefully, we're coming together at the right time and we can make it to Albuquerque."

The Lady Rams will focus in on junior forward Sarah Moulton, who leads the Bobcats (10-9) with 18 goals.

"Our defense definitely has to play well," Wilson said.

Portales will be without junior goalkeeper Jasmin Vega because of a death in her family. Junior Jessenia Ramirez, who was the starter in goal at the beginning of the season, will get the call in this one.

Both winners face No. 2 seeds in quarterfinal play at the APS complex — Hope Christian for the boys, Sandia Prep for the girls.

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