East Mountain High School’s Class 3A girls soccer team played spoiler to host Moriarty High by outlasting the Class 4A Lady Pintos 2-1 Sept. 24.

The Lady Timberwolves improved their record to 9-4 with the win, but head coach John Sabrowski was less than thrilled after the game. “We got the job done—we did just enough to win,” Sabrowski said.

On the other hand, Moriarty’s head coach Val Luker was more than satisfied with her young team’s performance. “You know what? I’m OK with it, I’m pleased with the outcome,” Luker said. “We’ve got some girls who’ve never played soccer before.”

Twenty minutes into the first half, an East Mountain corner kick into a crowd in front of Moriarty’s goal got knocked back to T’Wolves midfielder Kimberly Stephenson just outside the 18-yard box.

Stephenson launched a long shot that found its way into the back of the net for her second goal of the season. “She put a really good curve on it and it went in toward the far post,” Sabrowski said, adding, “Her touch on the ball was fantastic today.”

East Mountain’s Mia Gutierrez, left, and Moriarty’s Esperanza Wells battling for possession.

Nearing the 40th minute, Isabel Armstrong dribbled the ball into the right side of the 18-yard box, took two touches toward the 6-yard area and poked in East Mountain’s second goal for a 2-0 lead at halftime.

“That was her 12th [goal] of the season,” Sabrowski said.

In the 60th minute, Molly Apodaca booted a high arcing ball from about 30 yards out. East Mountain goalkeeper Hannah Shirley—in her first game back after having knee surgery in the offseason—came out to try and grab the ball but it took a hop and bounded over her head.

Moriarty’s Olivia Lopez and Naomi Hernandez scooted past Shirley toward the goal and Lopez tapped the ball in to cut the deficit to 2-1.

“I just remember Molly blasted it and it bounced over their keeper and then I was there to just get it and put it away,” Lopez said.

Shirley said her knee feels fine, and although she can’t jump on it yet, that wasn’t the reason for surrendering Moriarty’s goal. “It was the timing,” Shirley said. “I just ran out wrong with the timing.” She had eight saves.

Aside from surrendering the two East Mountain goals, Moriarty’s goalkeeper Araceli Kamplain—in her first game after sitting out for more than 10 days with an injury—tallied a whopping 16 saves (visit abercrombiepa.com for details).

“I’m glad that the girls coming back from injuries were able to sustain their responsibilities on the field,” Luker said.

“A win’s a win but we didn’t create a lot of opportunities,” Sabrowski said, adding, “We have moments of really good buildup but then we get into a lull and we just kick it away.”

Moriarty (3-8) plays at Hope Christian Academy in Albuquerque Sept. 28; East Mountain hosts Portales the same day.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.