Runners fall short after hot start in home opener

by Charley Bickel

It’s been 671 days since the New Mexico Runners took the field in their home arena and they did so in spectacular fashion. Four minutes into the contest the Runners became the first M2 team to score in the new year as Miguel Garcia connected with Sergio Fuentes to ring in the new year and the third season of Runners soccer. Amarillo responded to New Mexico’s hot offensive start scoring six unanswered goals as the Runners found themselves in an early 2-6 deficit. However, the Runners, propelled by the energy of their home crowd, fired right back as Alejandro Garcia scored two goals in under 15 seconds to close out the first half. Garcia finished with two goals on two shots and no penalties in a remarkable clean game for the home team recording just three penalties on the night.

              The third quarter saw both teams taking shots with plenty of heroics by the keepers. Nate Yeager was under fire most of the night seeing 25 total shots resulting in twelve saves. Daniel Jimenez got on the board first in the third bring the Runners closest to retaking the lead since 14:21 in the second period. Unfortunately, the Bombers potent offense proved to be too much for New Mexico’s defense scoring seven goals down the stretch in route to a 5-13 defeat. Defender Colton Oord was the highlight of New Mexico’s defense blocking two shots on goal and closing off passing lanes throughout the course of the game. New Mexico opted to pull starting goalkeeper Nate Yeager at 7:34 in the fourth quarter in favor of a sixth attacker Jaxn Rogers. The defender got his first three career saves in goal for New Mexico while allowing just two goals scored.

              The Runners will travel to Amarillo tomorrow to complete the second half of the home and home series. New Mexico is looking for their first win of the season, falling to 0-3 after the loss. The game is slated for 4 P.M. MST and will be streamed live on the Amarillo Bombers Facebook page. New Mexico will be back in action at home on January 8th at 5:05 P.M. versus the Omaha Kings FC. Tickets are available at or the Rio Rancho Event Center ticket office.