Published: 3:00 pm, Wed. Sep. 28th, 2016
With their starting lineup altered drastically due to injury over the course of the past several games, the Bulldog soccer team has just one current goal in mind: Get healthy for district.
But competing shorthanded Tuesday at the Mack Chase Athletic Complex had no aff ect on the ‘Dogs’ determination, as the squad took Hatch Valley into double-overtime before falling on an essentially perfect shot, 2-1.
The Artesia boys outshot the Bears 5-3 in the fi rst half of play, but Hatch made one count in the 21st minute to carry a 1-0 lead in at the half.
The Bulldogs were able to knot things up just under eight minutes into the second half, however, when Cesar Leyva was awarded a penalty kick and hammered it home.
From there, it was a back and forth battle. Artesia had their best chance to end things in regulation 13 minutes in on a two-on-one break, but the shot sailed wide.
Hatch, meanwhile, stepped up their physicality as they attempted to log the game-winning goal, resulting in a red card at 24:50. Two quick solid shots in the fi nal fi ve minutes, meanwhile, were saved, sending the bout into overtime.
The fi rst 10-minute session played out largely at midfi eld, with the Bears logging the lone shot of the period. That prompted the second session of sudden-death, and unfortunately, a direct free kick from 10 yards out of the box by Hatch resulted in a shot that sailed over the leaping Artesia keeper, hit the top corner of the goal, and ricocheted in.
The loss was a frustrating one, but the ‘Dogs will have one last chance to add a regular-season win Saturday when they host Ruidoso at 3 p.m. at The Mack. Artesia will kick of District 4-AAAAA play Tuesday against Lovington on the road.