Runners Fall to Elite in Regular Season Opener, 10-8

by Andres Trujillo/Charley Bickel

Rio Rancho, N.M. (December 15, 2018) – Regular season play opened for the Runners in front of a crowd of 1,015 at the Santa Ana Star Center. The final score wasn’t the result New Mexico wanted as they fell to in-state rival Santa Fe Elite by a score of 10-8.

Coming off a loss in their preseason exhibition game against the Colorado Inferno, the Runners came out guns blazing scoring their first goal with roughly three minutes left in the first quarter. The Runners defense was solid for the first two quarters holding Elite to just 2 goals in the first half to the Runners’ 3 with two coming in their explosive second quarter.

With the lead to start the second half, the Runners stumbled a bit and allowed four different Elite players to find the net with two goals occurring within three minutes of each other. Despite being down 4-6 at the start of the fourth, the Runners refused to quit. Jaime “Chiva” Rodriguez had a fantastic game scoring three of the Runners’ 8 goals with two of them coming in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.

With Rodriguez and Miguel Garcia scoring two goals apiece in the first half, the fourth quarter Runners found themselves down two with just 3:20 left to play. The Runners had placed themselves in the perfect position to win or tie while the home crowd made the Santa Ana Star Center’s atmosphere feel electric.

While the Runners fought till the end, they were ultimately edged by the Santa Fe Elite losing by just two. This game proved to be a learning experience for the team who has now faced two of their divisional opponents.

“We learned some new things with this being our first regular season game and it opened our eyes on what we need to work on.” Head Coach Famiglietta stated in response to what went wrong this game.

New Mexico is 0-1 on the season and the Elite move to 1-1 with the bright side of the Runners showing visible signs of improvement while actively growing the fan base. One of reasons this team is so fun to watch is that they trust each other allowing six different members of the team to score throughout the game. Their teamwork and dedication is astounding and at the rate of improvement they will be flying high in no time.

The Runners will continue on to the home stand against the Colorado Inferno in two weeks. The matchup will take place on Saturday December 29th, 2018 with a 5:05 PM kick-off at the Santa Ana Star Center (3001 Civic Center Circle Dr. NW, Rio Rancho, NM 87144). Tickets start at $10 and doors will open at 4:00 PM.