Moriarty High’s Luca Luppes scored an early goal and Pavel Arguello added a second-half penalty kick to help the Pintos blank the visiting Taos Tigers 2-0 in their Oct. 26 season finale.
The win snapped a four-game losing skid for the Pintos and closed out the season on a high note.
“To put it all together for the last game, it definitely feels good,” Moriarty head coach Jordan Allcorn said.
Despite posting a losing record for the second straight season, the victory put the Pintos (7-11-1, 2-4) in position to play the role of spoiler over Taos (14-3-1, 4-2). The Tigers beat Moriarty 6-0 in Taos on Oct. 15 and were vying for a District 2-4A title.
“They were definitely playing to win district and they needed to beat us by four,” Allcorn said.
Moriarty set the tone early, winning possession and aggressively attacking Taos’ side of the field.
The Pintos got on the board in the 12th minute when Austin White sent a through ball from near midfield down to the left side of the 18-yard box where Luppes secured it and sent a chip shot over the Taos goalkeeper.
Six minutes into the second half, Jordan Horoschak fired a shot from the left side of the 6-yard area that hit the far post and ricocheted inward, appearing to pass over the goal line, but the Taos goalkeeper tapped it out and the score remained 1-0.
In the 57th, a Taos defender pushed Arguello down near the left side of the goal awarding him a penalty kick. Arguello hammered the PK past the Taos keeper for the Pintos’ second goal.
“I was a little nervous at first, it was a little nerve-racking, you know, but I just tried to keep my composure and put it in the back of the net,” Arguello said.
Taos continued to play physical, getting a yellow card in the 70th minute and knocking down Luppes in the 73rd, awarding him a direct free kick that sailed just over the top of the crossbar.
Allcorn noted that the players knew it was their last game of the season—for the seniors, their final high school game—so there was no pressure. “They just relaxed and played to their potential,” Allcorn said, adding, “It shows we’re good enough to compete with anyone, so hopefully this’ll give us some momentum going into the offseason and some motivation to get better.”
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.