After being idle for what seems like a lifetime, Moriarty High School’s girls soccer team played its first competition this week in more than 16 months—and just as they did in their last season-opening game back in August 2019, the Lady Pintos won.
Moriarty senior Naomi Hernandez scored three goals, including one in the opening minutes, fellow senior Grace Hart added another goal, and the Lady Pintos picked up a 4-1 victory in their March 9 season opener at home over the Bernalillo Lady Spartans.
“It’s good to be out there playing again,” Moriarty head coach Val Luker said. “It’s awesome. They did a really good job.”
In front of a limited number of spectators—totaling about 40, according to Moriarty athletic director Joe Anaya—the Lady Pintos attacked aggressively from the start.
Moriarty took the opening kick downfield and Hernandez notched her first goal of the game three minutes into the contest.
Six minutes later, Hart lifted a floater from 10 yards out on the left side that got past Bernalillo’s goalkeeper to put Moriarty up 2-0.
“It was probably my best goal because it was with my left foot,” Hart said, adding, “It was fun to play.”
Hart got the ball into the goal again in the 32nd minute but the referees said Moriarty was offside and nullified the goal.
Four minutes later, Bernalillo scored to cut Moriarty’s lead in half.
In the final minutes of the first half, the Lady Pintos had two shots on frame but both were saved by Bernalillo’s keeper and the score remained 2-1 at halftime.
In the 68th minute, Hernandez took the ball from midfield all the way to the goal and scored to give the Lady Pintos a 3-1 lead. A minute later she drilled one into the far right corner of the net for the hat trick.
“It’s really nice to be back,” Hernandez said, adding that the Spartans are “pretty tough in the back but we got them.”
Luker said “it is very strange” to be playing in March, and she doesn’t like playing in the wind, but added, “We’ll take it. Given the circumstances, it’s really hard for everybody to come back and do what they do, but it’s great to be out here, it’s great to be able to have a season.”