New Mexico runners clear Inferno, 16-7

Nate Yeager can’t stop every shot, and this is where he dives a little late to try and stop an Inferno web seeker. (Herron photo)

Scoring early and scoring often was the theme on Jan. 21 at the Rio Rancho Events Center, where the New Mexico Runners scored the first six goals of the game on their way to a convincing 16-7 win over the Colorado Inferno.

Just 62 seconds into the MASL 2 contest, four-year veteran Froilan hit Ramirez on a pass from Nick Famiglietta en route to the red.

That early lead, which was 6-1 by the end of the first period, included a hat-trick from sophomore Mehrshad Ahmadi, who turned in a six-goal performance with his 15 shots at the Inferno goal.

Gabe Prada ended Colorado’s points drought by 43 seconds in the first quarter.

The Inferno defeated New Mexico (3-0) 4-1 in the second quarter, cutting the Runners’ lead to 7-5 at the break that included the “big reveal”: team owner Andres Trujillo and his wife Kathryn, along with theirs year-old son Ezekiel, made a football-style reveal that threw blue confetti, hinting that Zeke will soon have a brother.

Colorado (0-4) looked to have found a foothold after halftime, but it was a short-lived comeback. The teams engaged in a heated exchange in the third game between Colorado’s Josue Jimenez and New Mexico’s Miguel Garcia, which resulted in Garcia being booked and sidelined for the remainder of the period.

The penalty seemed to reignite the Runners’ offense and they ended the game on a 4-0 run that included two goals from Vince Aragon and Ahmadi’s sixth of the game.

Ahmadi, who played in seven games last season, has already scored 15 goals in the first three games of the 2022-23 runners.

At the other end of the floor, starting goaltender Nate Yeager has allowed just 15 goals in his three starts, giving him a .647 save rate.

The Runners got off to their best start in franchise history and are one of two remaining undefeated teams in MASL 2; the Rochester Lancers are the others.

The Runners are headed to their next two games, in Amarillo to face the Bombers on January 29 and in Wichita on February 4.

New Mexico returns home at 5:05 p.m. on February 11 to take on the Dodge City Bandits, the team they defeated 7-1 on December 18.

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