District 4A Play Kicks Off for CHS SoccerBy Don EskinsDistrict play opens up for the Carlsbad High School soccer programs this week.Often called the second season district competition brings with it new life for all conference teams, regardless of rank or record, to play their way into the state playoffs.Such will be the case for the Cavegirls and Cavemen who will face off with the Clovis Wildcats on Tuesday, Sept. 28 and the Roswell Coyotes on Saturday, Oct. 2. On Tuesday, Oct. 5, they'll take on the Hobbs Eagles. No. 1 Cavegirls at the Clovis WildcatsSo just what does the start of the District 4A season mean for the Class 5A, No. 1 ranked, 14-0 Cavegirls?Well, morethan likely that they can expect to see only the Wildcats, Coyotes and Eagles best efforts. After all, at this particular time of the season, it appears that their best route to a district title and automatic berth in this year's state playoffs, has to gothrough Carlsbad High.In short, the Cavegirls won't being getting any days off during this year's run for another district title.On Tuesday,the Cavegirls will travel to Clovis for their first 2021-conferencetest. The Wildcats, ranked 9th in Class 5A, promise to be a formidable opponent. "Anytime you play one of our district opponents on the road it's a tough game," said Cavegirl head coach Misty Long. "Playing at home teams work hard, they're scrappy and they throw everything they can at you just to get the win.""Going to Clovis is definitely going to be a challenge," she said. "They're a very well coached team and at 10-1-1 they've already proven that they can win."The only blemish on the Wildcat's record this year has been a 3-0 loss to the Centennial Hawks, the same Lady Hawks that the Cavegirls defeated 4-1.On Saturday, Oct. 2, theCavegirls will entertain 13th ranked Roswell High. ."Coach Ward does a really good job of organizing and putting her kids on the field to compete," said Long. "We got to watch them play in Las Cruces. The Coyotes have some talented players who work really hard."
This year's CHS effort to win their third district title in a row will be a very special one for four Cavegirls. Seniors Alexa Dugan, Jessica Munro, Grace Aragon and Marley Suggs will be leading the Cavegirls into conference play for the last time."These kids have meant so much to our program, not just this year, but also for the past few. As seniors they're definitely the ones that have set the tone for us this year," said Long. " It's awesome to watch them. They get after it, work hard and give our team direction All of our other girls follow their lead."Alexa Dugan leads this year's Cavegirl scoring effort. Dugan, last season's New Mexico Gatorade Player or the Year has scored 32 goals, tops in the state. Second on the list is Hope Christian's Savannah Sanchez with 23.The Cavegirls, showing no signs of slowing down this fall, thumped the Artesia Bulldogs 10-0 and Alamogordo 8-0 last week to push their record up to 14-0. Cavegirl Soccer RecapsSept. 14-Cavegirls 10, Artesia 0: Alexa Dugan 5G-2A, Abbey Dugan 4G-5A, Jessica Munro 1G-1A, Faith Aragon 1A, Johnna Aragon 1A.Sept. 16-Cavegirls 8, Alamogordo 0: Alexa Dugan 4G-3A, Abbey Dugan 2G-2A, Marley Suggs 2G. GK's Korrine Bradford 1S, Hannah Martinez 1S.Due to a Tuesday night deadline the Local was unable to include the Cavegirls district opener with Clovis (Sept. 28) in this week's issue.Cavemen get new life as district play unfoldsSo far,2021 has been a rough ride for the Cavemen soccer team. Through their first 14 games this year,they stand at 3-11.But that's all behind them now, District 4A play gets underway this week and they're ready to start anew.The Cavemen, after weeks of preparation, will kickoff district play on Tuesday, Sept. 28, when they host the Clovis Wildcats at 6 p.m. On Saturday, Oct. 2, they'll travel up north to take on the Roswell Coyotes. Game time is set for 1 p.m.Despite their slow start this season Caveman head coach Aaron Guevara says his young club is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead."I think every game in our district is going to be tough this year," said Guevara. "But if our kids go out and play their best each game I honestly believe that they'll be able to make a run for the district title."
The Caveman coach says his team's run for a conference championship will start with defense."Defense has kept us in most all of our games this season," said Guevara. "A lot of the credit for that belongs to our center back Matthew Schmidt. Matthew is pretty locked in on what he does for us out there. If he keeps our defense in line I think they'll keep us close in a lot of games.""We've also gotten some big saves from our goalie James Alexander," he said. "If he can continue to play at the same level he could be the deciding factor in several close games."Carlsbad's lack of scoring on offense has clearly been their Achilles’heel this season. However,Guevara, after watching Caveman Jeremiah Munoz kick in an overtime goal, on an assist from Angel Baiza, to give CHS a 1-0 victory over West Mesa last week, says that he thinks that's a problem they can overcome."Jeremiah strikes the ball really well, he's just been a little bit unlucky. If he had a dollar for everytime he's hit a post this year he'd have a decent amount of money," said theCaveman coach. "If we can get Jeremiah going, get him on the scoreboard, that would be really big for us.