Clovis sophomore Racquel DeLeon traps a ball. Photo by Eric Kluth.
By Eric Butler
Hobbs coach Cricket Lopez said it wasn’t necessarily her team’s intention to hang another 10-0 loss on the struggling Clovis girls soccer squad going into Tuesday’s contest. Instead, the Lady Eagles were content on gathering a smaller win and working on their own play.
But a mercy rule is what happened as the District 4-5A contest at the Yucca Soccer Complex was halted with 11:18 remaining on the clock after Hobbs’ Ryanne Arnold booted in the 10th goal of the night to put that rule into effect.
“We don’t look to 10-oh them,” Lopez said. “We look to improve our passing game and the things we need to do against Eldorado and Manzano.”
Nevertheless, she was gracious in her view of the Lady Wildcats. “Their skills are improving and, as much speed as they have, we may be in trouble next time,” Lopez said.
Hobbs (12-4-1, 4-1 district) had little difficulty as Lady Eagles forwards Lezlie Varner, Sunny Evans and Arnold weaved their way through the Clovis defense.
The scoring started when Evans gathered in a pass from the left corner by Varner, who had dribbled out of trouble, and shot past Lady Cats keeper Jessica Doss.
That occurred 12 minutes into the game. Eight minutes later, Varner tallied the first of her five goals for a 2-0 Hobbs lead.
Clovis (2-14, 0-6), switching speedy freshman Kela Williams from defense to offense late in the first half, did have some chances to score.
Williams forced Hobbs goaltender Amanda Vanlandingham into one save with eight minutes left in the half. With three minutes to go before intermission, another rush by Williams ended when the freshman missed her shot just left .
The game marked the return of Williams after a 2 1/2-week layoff due to a knee injury.
“I need to work on my shots a lot,” said Williams, who had another breakaway chance just miss in the fifth minute of the second half. “I’m sure, if I can get a few more chances, I can get those shots in.”
“I figured we were already behind 4-0, 5-0, 6-0. We didn’t really have anything to lose by pushing her up,” Clovis coach Larry Jones said. “She had a couple of good opportunities playing up front. It’s probably something we’ll do a little more often as she gets worked back in.”