The Albuquerque Sol beat the Laredo Heat Thursday evening in a repeat 2-0 finale, earning another win to tie them for the lead of the Premier Development League (PDL) with defending league champions, Michigan Bucks. The Sol lead the PDL Mountain Division with an 8-1-1 record, nine points ahead of FC Tucson.
Exactly one week after their initial meeting, both sides struggled defensively with Albuquerque’s Luke Lawrence breaching the opposing side to score both goals. The game was their third in seven days.
“This was a game we had to grind out to get a result and they did a good job of making us have to work harder in the first half,” stated Sol assistant coach Travis Masterson, standing in for head coach Matt Gordon. “Both teams had defensive breakdowns. We were just able to capitalize on theirs.”
The initial goal arose from an assist by Ricardo Zacarias, center midfielder for the Sol, passing to Lawrence who escaped from the Heat’s defender to deliver the ball deep into the net at the 25th minute.
The Heat had several attempts on goal, hoping to score for their home crowd but were unable to follow through thanks to Lucas Champenois, making several important saves for Albuquerque.
Following a back and forth passing game, it was once again the duo of Zacarias and Lawrence who slotted in the winning goal at the 75th minute. Going one-on-one against the defender, Zacarias passed to Lawrence who was left open to fire away.
“We did a better job of working smarter in second and stayed more organized,” concluded Masterson.
The Sol returned to Albuquerque immediately after the match to prepare for their upcoming international friendly this Saturday with Club Lobos BUAP of the Acsenso Mexican League. The inaugural Sore No More Summer Clásico is presented by Pinvaca and Associates, a sports marketing firm in Albuquerque hoping to build the soccer community in New Mexico.
The team will then have a week to recover before the final few matches of the season and playoffs. After heading to their away match against FC Tucson, they will return to face both Real Colorado and Midland/Odessa – the latter having been the only team to beat the Sol 1-0 all season.