Runners Complete Fifth Season

by Peter Griego

Rio Rancho, NM - The New Mexico Runners played their final match of season five on Sunday at the Rio Rancho Events Center, playing host to the first place Wichita Wings. Wichita opened the scoring early, with a Jared Robbins goal in the first minute. The Runners then responded with three goals of their own throughout the remainder of the first and into the second, with Michael Stephens connecting twice in that span en route to a hattrick later on. Nick Cashmere also scored in that span, off of a pass from Stephens who put up a superstar-esque performance on superstar day. 

Early in period two, the Wings would get level, scoring twice in the span of 11 seconds, with former Runner Mehrshad Ahmadi scoring the equalizer. New Mexico answered quickly, with "Chiva" Rodriguez kicking the ball into a tight window to put the Runners back in the lead. Later on, Stephens completed his hattrick, and gave the Runners their largest lead of the day for the second time. In the final minute of the half, Taylor Henry would score his second, to cut the Runners lead to one at the half.

Both teams would exchange blows after the break. Ahmadi quickly tied the game for Wichita and immediately Terry Zamora scored the go ahead goal for the Runners, with less than three minutes played. Soon after, Wichita got back even with a Robbins strike just past the nine minute mark. Around midway through the third, Austin Snyder would be shown the yellow card, which would put New Mexico shorthanded for the remainder of the quarter. The Wings capitalized when Robbins racked up his third goal of the night logging a hattrick. The Wings would take the lead into the fourth with the Runners limiting the damage of the yellow card, escaping with a one score deficit. 

Most of the fourth quarter would see the match reach a stalemate, as neither team would score for a majority of the period. Then, with around five minutes remaining, Max Shea would effectively put the game on ice, as the Wings would take an 8-6 lead. In the final minutes, the Runners tried everything, but could not convert their efforts into points, falling to Wichita by a final score of 6-8.  

The New Mexico Runners officially finish their fifth season with a record of 1-11 and will head into the off-season to officially turn the page to season six later this year. The new season is expected to kick off in December. On behalf of the New Mexico Runners, thank you to all our partners and fans for an exciting season five.