Wyatt Jones’ second-half header into the goal broke a scoreless tie and Lucas Shirley’s penalty kick sealed the deal in Moriarty’s 2-0 victory last Saturday over the visiting Ruidoso Warriors.
“It wasn’t our best performance but we got the result, so it’s a positive,” Moriarty head coach Jordan Allcorn said.
The winless Warriors tried to throw the Pintos a curve by stacking seven defenders in front of the 18-yard penalty box. “Their strategy was to defend,” Allcorn said. “We don’t play many teams that play us that way.”
But the strategy didn’t stop the Pintos as they successfully attacked, took a number of shots and benefitted from several free kicks.
But despite numerous opportunities Moriarty couldn’t find the back of the net during the first 40 minutes and the score was knotted 0-0 at halftime.
“That’s kind of been our mantra this year—we get down there but we can’t score,” Allcorn said. “We get lots of opportunities, it’s just [the other teams] tend to score and we don’t.”
Moriarty (4-11-1 overall, 2-2-1 District 4-1A/4A) finally got on the board in the 56th minute when Shirley sent a cross-pass in front of the goal and Jones banged the ball in with his head. “I was wide open back there and it was really just a simple goal and a good team goal,” Jones said.
In the 71st minute, after one of Shirley’s shots inside the box grazed a Warrior defender on the hand, Moriarty was awarded a penalty kick. Shirley’s PK sliced past the outstretched hands of Ruidoso’s goalkeeper and the Pintos had an insurance goal.
“We needed to win this game and I was thinking we needed another goal to do it, and I’m glad I had the chance to score,” Shirley said.
“Yeah, we did need that,” Allcorn added.
The Pintos played at Bosque Prep 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.