Moriarty’s 1-1 draw in double-overtime last Thursday against the visiting St. Pius X Sartans had everyone on the boys soccer team smiling.
“I love you guys!” senior Josh McCleave said to his huddled teammates, his shoulder smeared with grass stains and spots of blood.
“We’ve never beaten them before, and we’ve never tied them before,” Moriarty head coach Jordan Allcorn said. “As a competitor I want the W, but I’ll take it.”
A physical first half packed with fouls and yellow cards resulted in several set-pieces—a free dead-ball play following a foul—but none hit the mark and the game remained scoreless at the break.
A Moriarty foul in the 42nd minute led to a Sartans’ free kick that arced over the Pintos defenders to St. Pius midfielder Clayton Bliss, who bonked a header into the right corner of the goal for a 1-0 lead.
In the 59th minute Moriarty’s Honza Pavlok stole the ball from a pair of Sartans 20 yards out, took two touches and fired the equalizer into the left side of the net for the 1-1 tie. “I feel like they made a mistake and I was at the right moment in the right place,” Pavlok said.
Pavlok, a 6-foot-4 foreign exchange student from Czech Republic, received a yellow card earlier in the game for his aggressive play. Allcorn took Pavlok out of the game and reminded him to “play smart” to avoid another card.
When the Sartans took the lead Allcorn put Pavlok back in the field. “That might’ve been my best coaching move of the year,” said Allcorn.
“I’m not going to say I knew he was going to score, but he’s the type of player who has a great chance of getting in the right spot and scoring.”
Both teams got close but neither found the back of the net the rest of the game.
Under current high school regular-season rules, if neither team scores in two consecutive 10-minute overtime periods, the game ends in a draw.
“It wasn’t a pretty game by any means but it was a gritty effort by us,” Allcorn said.
The Pintos played Tuesday at Grants after The Independent went to print; their final District 5-5A game is Thursday at home against Albuquerque Academy.