[Left: Gordon Rueff, defensive back of the New Mexico Miners]
SOCORRO, N.M., Dec. 7, 2000 -- New Mexico Tech's men's soccer team, the Miners, wrapped up their Fall 2000 season last week with a 6-2 win over the Albuquerque Stealth at the Oroyo del Oso soccer park in Albuquerque. The Miners dominated the game with play almost exclusively in their offensive half, with the exception of two break-away runs resulting in goals by a very quick Stealth striker. This game was indicative of the entire season. The Miner defense was strong overall, but was somewhat susceptible to the surprise attack in the air. The Tech team is usually dominant in the field, but seems a bit gun-shy in front of the net. Leading scorers on the season include sophomores Michael Okoro and Maurizeo Leo, and freshman Nate VanDelinder. The tenacious defense was led by sophomore sweeper Kevin Ford, with freshman Trey Becker as the major goal keeper.
The Miner men finished their first fall season in the Albuquerque Soccer League with a record of 5-2-1, outscoring their opponents 29 goals for to 15 against. The two losses were both heartbreaking one-goal differences. The record puts the Miners tied for third place out of eleven teams in one of two 3rd divisions within the league. With 9 games remaining in the year, the Miners plan to improve that standing to at least the 2nd spot which would allow them to relegate up to the 2nd division for the year 2001-2002. Since the Miners are new to the Albuquerque league, they must start in the lowest division, and relegate up to the higher divisions. The "quality of play" and competition increase as a team progresses from 3rd, to 2nd, to 1st, and finally the premiere division. Four of the eleven teams in the Miners division (including the Miners) are all at least 2nd division quality teams, and it's going to be a battle for the top two spots.
Look for the Miners next semester, kicking off their spring season Feb. 10 and 11 in an ASL tournament held right here in Socorro. Regular season games will be held on Sundays in Albuquerque.