The Warriors are once again .500 at 8-8. Their final home game is on October 19 against Hatch Valley.
Greg Byrd | El Defensor Chieftain


The Warriors men’s soccer club returned to a .500 record this past Saturday after having won two in a row against district opponents. The NMMI Colts came to town and shutout Socorro, leaving with a 2-0 victory.

Before the game head coach Billy Oxford emphasized the need to be vocal throughout the game.

NMMI came out fast, starting with an early corner kick opportunity on its first possession. Physical play on both sides happened from the beginning. Colts senior Jose Donnadieu slid in for a hard tackle on the Warriors’ Ivan Giron, which had the team calling for a card. Giron walked it off.

Senior Josh Reyes was getting close to goal early, including a free kick after taking a tumble outside of the box. NMMI was able to stop the attempt at the goal. Tough play continued as Warriors senior Cody Johnston shoved a player to the ground, receiving a yellow card for the incident. An inbounds play that had the Warriors sending everyone back to defend the box was the end of the first half with the score nil-nil.

NMMI head coach John Barbour got his players centered in the huddle so that they could find success in the second half.

“Play with high intensity out there boys,” he said. “But play with your head at all times. Every moment from here on out is a playoff moment, don’t forget that.”

The Colts came out quick again. This time they finally found the back of the net from a strike by senior John Zimmerman. The Warriors were a bit off, with senior Hezekiah Oxford making a rare for him off target corner kick on a potential goal. Senior Josh Reyes was also shaken up late as the Warriors were still in the game.

A score by NMMI senior Ben Zimmerman sealed the deal for the Colts. At that point both teams put in their younger players so they could get some experience on the field.

“The key to our success is always our passing,” NMMI coach Barbour said after the win. “We really work on moving the ball up the field so that we can transition quickly. I was just telling coach (Oxford) that his team has got some great leaders on the field. Number 1 (Adam Garcia) was giving us real trouble the whole game. Socorro definitely has a real spine to its team.”

Despite the loss, coach Oxford saw a lot of positives in the effort his group put out, particularly since the Warriors previously lost to NMMI 5-0 on October 5.

“That was probably the best defensive output I’ve seen from these guys all year,” said Oxford. “The last few minutes we lost composure but overall these guys played with guts. It’s a big improvement since we got blown out against these guys last time. We frustrated them to no end. They possibly expected to roll over us and we held strong for most of the game. When this team has that laser focus, we can frustrate any team in the state.”

With the win NMMI remains on top in the district at 12-3-1. The Warriors are once again .500 at 8-8. Their final home game is on October 19 against Hatch Valley before finishing off the regular season against Hot Springs on the road October 23.

Class A/3A Standings:

  1. Monte Del Sol Charter; 5-5.
  2. Socorro; 8-8.
  3. West Las Vegas; 1-2.