Moriarty’s boys soccer team launched a boatload of shots last Thursday but it was Aydan Greene’s goal in the first half and Josh McCleave’s in the second that lifted the Pintos to a 2-0 district victory over the visiting Grants Pirates.
The win was Moriarty’s first in District 5-5A and its tenth of the season overall.
“We possessed the ball very well and we created a ton of opportunities, we just didn’t finish like we should,” said Moriarty head coach Jordan Allcorn.
A middle school football game on the adjacent field had multiple whistles blaring every few seconds but it didn’t seem to faze the Pintos as they repeatedly attacked Grant’s goalkeeper with a barrage of shots.
Moriarty had 25 shots on frame and fired more than 45 shots overall but most either missed the mark or were right at the Pirates goalkeeper.
In the 35th minute the Pintos finally broke a 0-0 tie.
Sprinting toward the left side of the 18-yard box, Greene took a pass from Pavel Arguello and lashed a low shot from 10 yards out. “I got past their defender, and then I turned and their goalkeeper was kinda out of position and luckily it got past him,” Greene said.
The Pirates’ defense stacked a number of defenders around the box the entire game making it difficult for Moriarty to get clean shots on goal. “We’re not used to teams playing us with that strategy,” Allcorn said, adding, “We made their goalkeeper look pretty good.”
In the 47th minute, McCleave found the back of the net when he stole the ball from a band of Pirates near the 6-yard line, weaved through traffic and tapped it in for the second goal. “I just got the ball somehow and shot it—I was aiming for the bottom left corner,” McCleave said.
Lucas Shirley, normally Moriarty’s goalkeeper, played the field in the forward position for just the third time this season.
Sophomore Ethan Tolleson got the start at the keeper spot and recorded one save.
Shirley helped the Pintos attack the goal and twice got close to scoring but tweaked his hamstring midway through the second half and left the game. “I guess I’m not used to all that running,” Shirley said.
Moriarty continues to play without senior Connor McCarty who had been the Pintos’ top scorer.
McCarty hasn’t played since Sept. 8 after tearing the ACL in his left knee. He said he will miss the rest of the season and undergo surgery. “That really does take something out of our offensive attack,” Allcorn said.
The Pintos played at top-ranked district rival Albuquerque Academy Tuesday after The Independent went to print.
Ger has been writing and shooting photos of high school sports for The Independent for 15 years. His dedication to youth athletics goes beyond sports reporting. He is past president of East Mountain Little League and works as a baseball umpire. He lives in Edgewood with his family.