Runners Come Up Short In Omaha 2-Game Series

by Andres Trujillo

Omaha, NE (December 19, 2021) – On the road for a 2 game series in Omaha, the New Mexico Runners opened up their 3rd season against the Omaha Kings. After not playing for almost 650 days, the Runners looked to lock up some wins, but unfortunately came up short in both games. 

The first game of the series ended in a 10-15 loss where New Mexico had some rust to dust off on Friday night. The scene was totally different for the Runners on Saturday night for game 2 against Omaha.

The first quarter was started off by an Omaha goal which was answered back quickly by Runners Forward Alejandro Garcia. Sergio Fuentes quickly put the pressure down for a quick goal with 7:46 remaining in the 1st. New Mexico would continue to play a mostly defensive quarter as Omaha would take a 2-4 lead, but not before Jobany Villalba snuck a shot through the net with twenty seconds remaining.

New Mexico’s second quarter play matched Omaha’s momentum as both teams put up 3 goals a piece. Defender Jaxn Rogers found his first goal of the season with a quick assist from Froilan Ramirez with 10:19 on the clock. Sergio Fuentes & Alexander Stillinger would both score a goal a piece late in the half to bring a halftime score of 6-7 in favor of the Kings.

The Runners came out fired up for the 3rd quarter as they put on an impressive show. Villalba set the momentum for the third with a solid breakaway goal assisted to him from Gordon. This goal would tie things up with 11:47 on the clock. Omaha snuck a quick goal to take the lead, but not before Garcia hitting back to back goals to give New Mexico a 9-8 lead with 6:36 on the clock. Villalba would add to the lead and New Mexico would end the third leading 10-9.

The fourth quarter was high flying and full of energy from both squads. New Mexico’s Seth Gordon found his way from the back side of the field on a breakaway to score with 10:42 on the clock and a 11-9 Runners lead. Omaha worked quickly to tie things up with two unanswered goals. With 6:48 on the ticker, Garcia would find the gap and push in a lead for the Runners. New Mexico’s defense would be slowed due to a blue card called against Gordon for tripping. Omaha would take advantage of the powerplay and tie the game at 12-12. With 2:45 left in the game, the Kings would take a one point lead and the match would conclude. 

New Mexico’s display on the second game night showed much improvement from Friday night’s game. Alejandro Garcia showcased an excellent weekend of scoring with a total of 8 goals and 2 assists. Newcomer Jobany Villalba would finish the weekend with 4 goals and 1 assist. Veterans Fuentes, Gordon, and Ramirez all would rack up 2 goals a piece on the weekend.

Now, New Mexico looks to get things prepared for the first home game on January 1, 2022 against the Amarillo Bombers at the Rio Rancho Events Center. This upcoming game will be a milestone in home play as it has been a year and 10 months since the Runners last played at home. Kick off for the January 1st game is 5:05 PM with doors opening at 4:00 PM. Tickets start at just $13.