Russell's NM Runners Rundown: Chapter 3

by Russell Gurule

Could it be a magical season? Perhaps I'm asking that question too soon. The Runners are however off to their best start ever. Last Saturday's match against the Colorado Inferno was a special day. We had motorcycles! The sound of Harley's thundering was present throughout the Rio Rancho Event Center as the Rebels with a cause were part of the evening events.

Rio the mascot had everybody going. Head Coach Steve Famiglietta was looking very dapper and full of smiles. The crowd had energy as Runner fans and a nice contingent of Colorado Inferno fans had some friendly exchanges. I observed many people enjoying all the amenities of a Runners game from the kids' play area to the French Family Zone. 

But it was the Runners in the midst of all this hoopla who brought the most excitement. Right out of the gate the Runners lead 6-1 after the first quarter. But the Inferno didn't go away quietly into the night. It seemed that the Inferno were committed to clawing their way back into the match. Their fans were cheering them on with each goal. By halftime the score was 7-5 in the Runners favor. 

But it was Runners who became an inferno with several goals, almost doubling the Colorado Inferno by the end of the 3 rd quarter. Chants of “defense” became the mantra throughout the second half. Runners striker Mehrshad Ahmadi with his red headband was a force to be reckoned with. I watched Mehrshad make big play after big play throughout the match, scoring goals from all different angles. Perhaps Mehrshad Ahmadi just might be one of the best players in MASL2. 

Many Runners had solid performances from Jaxn Rogers' defense to Vince Aragon's amazing goal. Goalie Nate Yeager was tremendous in holding the Inferno to only two goals the entire second half of the match. The Runners came away with a very satisfying 16-7 victory and are now 3-0 on the season. Everyone had smiles as Rio gave out autographs and the players took pictures with the fans. It was truly a successful night for the New Mexico Runners organization. 

This year's team has a special chemistry brewing. It's becoming more evident with each match. This coming Sunday is going to test that chemistry as the Runners take the show on the road to Amarillo, TX to face the Bombers. Fans are gearing up for a road trip in what is a pivotal match against one of the top teams in the MASL2. The match will be Sunday Jan 29 th at 2:05 p.m. Central time at the Amarillo Civic Center. 

Yes, something is brewing and the momentum is building. Maybe this could be a magical season. I'll see you at the next match!

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