ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The 2023 high school soccer season wrapped up on Saturday at the UNM soccer complex. State championships were held for classes 4A and 5A, and the day was full of close matchups that went down to the wire.
In the boys 5A title game, undefeated and top ranked Hobbs took on the No. 3 seed, Atrisco Heritage. Both teams were able to get on the board in the first half, but the 1-1 score would hold through the second half and two overtime periods. The game was decided by PKs with the Eagles coming out on top, 3-2. The win completes an undefeated season for Hobbs and gives the Eagles their first boys soccer championship since 1997.
The girls 5A championship featured the top two teams in the state, Cleveland and La Cueva. The Storm was able to come out on top thanks to the game’s only goal coming off the foot of Rylie Pengelly. The win marks the first ever girls soccer championship in Cleveland history.
“It was really exciting to have the only goal in state, but also for that to be the winning goal, because after that we just calmed down and we just played our game,” said Pengelly. “It means a lot because this is the first time girls soccer has ever won state before. So, we are not even just winning we are making history for our school. We have all worked so hard for this, it feels amazing.”
In class 4A, the top seeded Sartans of St. Pius X battled against Hope Christian for the boys blue trophy. Regulation wasn’t enough time to decide a winner, but Sartans captain Jovan Barela made sure it was a quick overtime, as he secured a golden goal for the first St. Pius soccer championship since 2008.
“Oh man it was a battle from start to finish,” said Barela. “Everybody gave it their all. The defense was doing amazing holding it as much as they could. The middle, everybody was just passing through, connecting with our forwards, trying to make as many opportunities as we could. I didn’t expect it to be honest. Just composure right in that box. Just steady, find that pocket and put it in.”
The day started off with the highest scoring championship of the year between two-time defending champion, Hope Christian, and second seeded Albuquerque Academy. While the game featured five goals in total, four came off the foot of a Husky, as they got the win 4-1.
“I’m just super happy,” said Hope senior Savanah Sanchez. “Wouldn’t want to go out any other way with any other team and just enjoying it.”