Moriarty High School’s boys soccer team took 70 minutes to manufacture a lead during its Sept. 4 matchup against the visiting Robertson Cardinals.
And in the span of about one minute, the Pintos let the game slip away.
“It’s frustrating,” Moriarty head coach Jordan Allcorn said. “We were up 2-1 with two minutes left in the game.”
But Robertson’s counterattack down the stretch tied the score, and just before the final whistle the Cardinals scored again to snatch a 3-2 victory—handing the Pintos their first defeat of the season.
“We did a great job defending [Robertson’s two key players] the whole game, and then all of a sudden we started stabbing. I think we thought the game was over, and the game’s not over till that whistle blows.”
Moriarty (3-1) fell behind 1-0 in the 12th minute when Robertson (3-1) scored a penalty kick following a questionable call.
“He [the referee] said it was a handball,” Allcorn said. “If it’s incidental—if it just bounces up and hits a hand—that’s part of play. But that’s not why we lost”
Moriarty’s Jahlani Graham nailed a 6-yard equalizer in the 28th minute to knot the score 1-1.
Early in the second half, Moriarty was awarded three consecutive direct free kicks but couldn’t capitalize.
In the 55th minute, Frank McCleave led a Moriarty breakaway, but his shot sailed over the crossbar.
The Pintos took a 2-1 lead in the 70th minute when Jordan Horoschak scored on one of Moriarty’s three second-half corner kicks.
Robertson’s counter in the 79th minute resulted in a game-tying goal, and with under 30 seconds left in the match, the Cardinals found the back of the net for the victory.
“We had a lot of chances,” Allcorn said. “But that’s soccer.”
Allcorn acknowledged that his players started the game a little flat and didn’t have a clear grasp of the situation at the end.
“It’s just a product of our inexperience,” Allcorn said of his young team. “We left spaces for [the Cardinals] to exploit and they took advantage. Hopefully we learn from it.”