With summer workouts and scrimmages in the rearview mirror, area high school soccer teams kicked into gear this week.
After a condensed, Covid-delayed season last March, Moriarty’s and East Mountain’s soccer teams are back for their first fall season in two years—and an unprecedented second season in a calendar year.
The Independent visited with Moriarty’s and East Mountain’s boys’ and girls’ teams this week to see how the squads are shaping up.
Like most coaches, head coach Jordan Allcorn said he’d like to see more players on the pitch.
“It’s not quite what we want for two teams, we usually have closer to 30,” Allcorn said of the 20-or-so players who were practicing this week.
Moriarty participated in a summer scrimmage last month at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, and though Allcorn said it helped him figure out some things, it wasn’t like playing an actual game.
“We’ll know a lot more when we get game-tested,” he said.
Allcorn admitted the team has a lot of work to do in a short amount of time—the Pintos first game was Aug. 19 at Artesia—and there are a couple of players who will not be available for the first couple of games.
“But we’ll be ready, we’ll be as ready as we can be,” Allcorn said of the team’s Artesia kickoff. “I think we should have a much better idea after about the third game, that’s when I’m hoping we’ll be back to full strength.”
The Pintos’ home opener is Aug. 25 against Albuquerque’s Bosque School.
Lady Pintos head coach Val Luker said her numbers are also low—she only has about 12 players—but she likes the work ethic and the willingness of the girls who have come out for the team.
“They’re all working very hard, they’re having fun, they’re enjoying what they’re doing, so to me, that’s really more important than anything else,” Luker said.
The Lady Pintos’ season kicks off Aug. 21 at a reshuffled Socorro Tournament. The tournament was originally going to be a two-day, three game event, but that didn’t work out for several of the participating schools, including Moriarty. The Pintos will now play two games on Saturday. The first game will be against Gallup. The second game’s opponent will depend on the outcomes of the first games, according to Luker.
Luker said the team has a few new faces, including an eighth-grader, so she’s had to focus on “a lot of foundational stuff,” and noted that her players are going to be as ready as they can be for the first game.
“We have a good group of girls, and I think for the most part we’ll be OK, we’ll be all right,” Luker said. “Hopefully we’ll have a good season, it’ll be what it’s gonna be, that’s all I can ask for.”
East Mountain Girls
Lady Timberwolves head coach John Sabrowski said the condensed season in March was “kind of a preseason-season,” and noted that his team is “almost ready” for the fall campaign.
Sabrowski said he has some new faces on the squad combined with a good core of returning players and the depth on his bench is decent.
“We should be pretty competitive,” he said, adding, “For the most part, the starting lineup is just about where I want it to be.”
Senior Sierra Larson said she’s “super-excited” for the upcoming season, particularly after the condensed season in March.
“We didn’t get a full season, we only got one real away game, and I’m so excited to have those bonding experiences, like, that’s kinda what high school soccer, high school sports are all about,” Larson said.
The Lady T’Wolves kick off the season Aug. 20 at home against Ruidoso.
East Mountain Boys
The T’Wolves were winless during the spring season, and in addition to losing a couple of seniors to graduation, head coach John Larson said they recently lost one of their better players, Tizo Chavez, who transferred to Roswell’s New Mexico Military Institute.
“Yeah, we’re gonna miss Tizo, but we’ve got a strong team, there’s a lot of experience here,” Larson said.
Larson added that he likes what he’s seen so far in his players, including a good showing at the scrimmage last month at Cleveland High School where the T’Wolves won three games, including a win over Moriarty.
“Not that it’s an indication of what it’ll be but it’s a good start,” Larson said. “We’re getting it going, getting our lineups together, and we’re here and we’re playing without masks—so far.”
The T’Wolves open the season Aug. 20 at the Hatch Tournament with one game on Friday and two on Saturday.