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There was something missing from the Bulldog soccer team’s play Tuesday in Roswell – and it wasn’t just goals.

The Artesia boys fell to the Coyotes on the road by a final of 5-0, a far cry from the tight, 2-1 victory with which the boys in red escaped Oct. 3 at The Mack.

Having tied with Goddard 2-2 Oct. 10 in Roswell in a game both the ‘Dogs and their coaches felt they should have won, the spark that has seen the team to a solid overall record and a quality start to district play seemed absent in their second meeting with the Coyotes.

And the effects were clear.

“They showed up, but they weren’t ready to play,” head coach Phillip Jowers said today. “And Roswell showed up, and they were. And that was the difference.”

Roswell High was able to log two goals in the opening 40 minutes of play and three more in the second half to round out the final and drop Artesia’s record to 8-9-2 on the season, 2-2-2 in District 4-AAAAA.

That record should still be more than sufficient to earn them a spot in the Class 5A State Tournament, but Jowers says a win in their district finale at 6 p.m. Thursday against Lovington at the Mack Chase Athletic Complex would go a long way toward solidifying that.

He knows his squad is capable of that and more. They just have to believe it.

“We need to show up tomorrow and beat Lovington, and that would definitely help our case,” said the coach. “Everybody just needs to be ready to play, and we need to remember we’re playing as a team.

“They have all the tools they need and they know how to do it, but what it boils down to is that they need to put all the other stuff behind them, go out there, and show up to play the way we know how to play.”