Runners Fight But Fall Short to Cuervos, 7-12
Rio Rancho, NM (March 2, 2019) – In a non-stop battle on the field, the New Mexico Runners fall short to the Ciudad Juarez Cuervos by a score of 7-12 on Saturday night at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, NM.
With their inaugural season winding down, the New Mexico Runners took to the turf to defend their home one last time. The Runners were coming off an unexpectedly long week after a snowstorm impeded their ability to travel north to Denver for a rematch against the Colorado Rumble.
Both teams were feeling the pressure of the game as neither team scored until halfway through the first quarter. The Cuervos struck first with a goal from forward Emmanuel Mendoza with seven and half minutes to go in the first. The Runners struggled to find a rhythm offensively but gained momentum with Forward Jaime Rodriguez scoring the Runners’ first goal off a power play opportunity.
Although the Runners defense looked strong to start, they struggled in the latter half of the first quarter as the Cuervos went on a 5-1 run to close out the second quarter.
Rodriguez scored his second goal of the night heading in a long pass from Goalkeeper Casey Gasson. Gasson finished with 14 saves on 24 total shots. His season high for saves came last time New Mexico faced the Cuervos on Feb. 8th in El Paso where he collected 24 saves on 38 total shots.
The Runners came out of halftime at full speed as Gasson collected three saves strengthening their defense which would not allow a goal until 6:27 to go in the period. Meanwhile, the offensive continued the fight and claw at the Cuervos’ triangle defense which had prevented their fast attack scoring most of the night. Jaime Rodriguez hit pay dirt twice in the third keeping New Mexico within four scores of Juarez.
Despite the four-point deficit, the Runners orchestrated a momentum shifting 3-0 run in the first two minutes of the fourth period. Rodriguez earned his start status during the stretch scoring all three of New Mexico’s fourth quarter goals. He would finish with six of New Mexico’s 7 goals setting a new career high. His previous career high came against the Colorado Rumble on February 10th when he scored five goals including the go-ahead to win the game in the closing minutes. The run brought New Mexico within striking distance of Juarez being down just a single score with just over nine minutes left in the game.
The 3-0 run was ultimately insufficient to overcome the first half deficit as the Runners would fall to the Cuervos by a score of 7-12. Although it wasn’t the result the Runners had hoped for, the team managed to play a wildly exciting game that will carry the fan base through till the start of next season.
The Runners will be on the road next week to face the Colorado Rumble on March 9th at 7:00 PM MT at the Foothills Fieldhouse in Denver.
New Mexico will head to Colorado for a 2-game road stand this upcoming weekend. On Saturday March 9th, the Runners head to Denver to face the Colorado Rumble with a scheduled 7:00 PM MT kick-off at the Foothills Fieldhouse in Colorado. Then on Sunday, the Runners will face the Colorado Inferno in Colorado Springs with a 6 PM MT scheduled start.
The New Mexico Runners are an arena soccer team based in Rio Rancho, NM and current members of Major Arena Soccer League M2 (MASL2). The Runners play their home games at Santa Ana Star Center and season tickets are on sale NOW by calling 505.663.7RUN (7786). For more information on the Runners, visit http://www.newmexicorunners.com as well as LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE on social media at @nmrunners.
Photo Credit: Scott Adamson