Senior Gabriel Ayala scored two goals as the Portales Rams rallied late to tie New Mexico Military Institute 3-3 in both teams’ season opener on Saturday at Rams Field.
Rams coach Brian Kirchner said he squad competed well against the Colts.
“Just like last year we would get up on a team and then let them back in the game,” Kirchner said. “We would get back up, but then we’ll let them back in so we have to make sure we’re playing a 100 percent no matter what the score is.”
Ayala sprinted from midfield to score off a pass from senior Seth Christiansen for the day’s first game in the 23rd minute. NMMI responded with 8:48 left in the half as Angel Reyes maneuvered inside several Rams defenders to find the back of the net.
Ayala’s second game, with 41 seconds left, sent Portales into the intermission with a 2-1 lead.
NMMI stormed back to take the lead with two goals seven minutes apart after play resumed. The Rams then pulled even with six minutes left in regulation on a goal by Christiansen.
“We need a lot of work on finishing,” NMMI coach John Barbour said about his team who has only been playing with each for only two weeks. “We had plenty of chances and just didn’t put it away. They did really though.”
Senior goalkeeper Erick Ibarra had 10 saves in the match for Portales.
Lady Rams third in bracket
The Portales Lady Rams captured third place in their bracket of the Artesia Invitational on Saturday, knocking off Los Lunas 2-1.
Forward Kaitlyn Garrett scored the deciding goal, converting a pass from midfielder Becca Porter with about 28 minutes left in the match.
Los Lunas scored first before sophomore midfielder Jenna Silvers tied the match for Portales (2-1).
Earlier in pool play, Portales defeated Silver 3-0 as Sievers scored in the first half and Garrett and midfielder Brynn Roberts added goals in the second stanza. Goalkeeper Tayler Hammack, who assisted on Garrett’s goal, earned her first shutout of the season.
“The way Tayler got her assist was she made a save,” coach Traci Sievers said. “Then Jenna was playing midfield at the center circle. Tayler threw the ball in quickly and hit Jenna, who turned and kicked the ball to Kaitlyn in stride for a goal.”
“It was a nice play. I wish we could run that every time.”