The Santa Fe Indians soccer team held off a determined comeback attempt by the Ball High Tors in a nine-goal thriller, surviving for a 5-4 win on Tuesday night at Kermit Courville Stadium.
Playing in their second game in District 23-5A play, the Santa Fe Indians responded from an early Ball High goal on a free kick by scoring three unanswered goals for a 3-1 halftime lead.
Three different players found the back of the net for the Indians with Micah Cerda, Diego Paita and Jason Montes each scoring.
“We played hard,” said Santa Fe head coach Jonathan Graschel. “It was very close. It was a little tight. That was a concern of ours. We were able to exploit them on the outside in order to beat them on the inside. Bottom line, we came out on top. We had a couple of goals from the bench. That was good.”
Two goals were scored in the opening minutes of the game with Cerda equalizing for the Indians.
Plenty of chances were created by the Indians in the first half but it wasn’t until Paita’s 23rd-minute strike that gave Santa Fe the lead for good. He followed it up with a 28th minute goal.
“The boys played with a lot of effort tonight,” said Ball High head coach Stephen Lewis. “We weren’t sharp enough to beat Santa Fe. You must give them credit. They played a great game.”
A 40th-minute goal by Montes made it 4-1 in the second half.
Ball High responded with two goals in a 2-minute span.
“We’re used to that situation,” Lewis said. “Our boys have a lot of heart and courage. They played valiantly.”
But the Tors couldn’t cut through. Montes put the game out of reach with his 58th minute strike and a late BHS goal wasn’t enough.
“It was certainly trying on our team to hold them off,” Graschel said. “They had a lot of talented players. They played the ball long and made quick plays. We did a good job of shutting them down.”
Santa Fe remained undefeated in district play while the Tors fell to 0-2.
“We’re going to get back to work,” Lewis said. “We’re going back to the drawing board and watch some film and do what we need to do to get to the playoffs.”