Runners lose their hook on Barracudas

by Charley Bickel

Rio Rancho, NM - Coming off a spectacular 7-6 road victory at Wichita, the New Mexico Runners looked to continue their momentum against the Rio Grande Valley Barracudas FC but fell short by a score of 3-8 Saturday evening at the Rio Rancho Event Center.

New Mexico found themselves playing from behind early as the Barracudas got on the board first with an early goal from defender Jose Martinez. It was the first time all season the Runners allowed the opposition to score first at home but the lead proved to be short lived. New Mexico responded with a two goal run spurred by shots from midfielders Jacob Gandarilla and Jobany Villalba. Gandarilla lead all scorers finishing with two goals on the night. The Runners defense held strong as it did against Wichita but a pair of blue card penalties resulted in two power play goals for the opposition as the Runners would head to the locker room trailing the Barracudas by a hat trick.

The Runners struggled to score in the second half as Rio Grande Valley's defense slowed the down high flying New Mexico offense coming into the contest averaging over nine goals a game. New Mexico's defense held strong keeping the Barracudas scoreless for two nine minute stretches during the second half. Starting keeper Nate Yeager and sixth attacker Jaxn Rodgers combined for ten saves on 18 total shots. Defender Colton Oord finished with two blocked shots marking the fourth time this season he's registered multiple blocks in a single game.

New Mexico is on a bye next week with their next home game slated for Feb. 5, 2022 at 5:05 PM from the Rio Rancho Events Center. Tickets can be found at or at the Rio Rancho Events Center ticket office.