Moriarty midfielder Christopher McGrath said he has a technique for shooting penalty kicks that his brother taught him—and it came in handy at the end of a tight Oct. 1 matchup against the visiting Portales Rams.
During the second overtime period, with the score tied 1-1, Portales fouled Moriarty inside the 18-yard box and McGrath got the opportunity to employ his technique.
“I look the keeper in the eye, look at the corners, and then I look down at the ball and don’t look up,” McGrath said. “If you hit it right, it curves around so the keeper has less chance of getting it.”
McGrath hit the ball right on the money, it angled into the back of the net and the Pintos won 2-1.
“It was very sweet,” McGrath said.
In high school soccer, the team that scores first in overtime wins the match.
“Those are not easy, especially when it’s a game-winner,” Pintos head coach Jordan Allcorn said. “You gotta keep your composure.”
The Pintos attacked early but came up empty and Portales opened the scoring with a goal in the 15th minute.
Moriarty took several shots that sailed off frame and the Rams held their 1-0 advantage at halftime.
At the start of the second half, Moriarty drove downfield and James Bentley took a short-range shot that was slapped out by Portales’ goalkeeper and floated toward Pintos forward William “Cash” Spindle. Spindle put his head on the ball and scored the equalizer.
“It deflected off the keeper’s hands and it was going up and I headed it in,” Spindle said.
“That was crucial,” Allcorn said about Spindle’s goal. “You get that equalizer early and all of a sudden your confidence rises.”
The score remained 1-1 through the end of regulation and was still knotted through the first 10-minute overtime period, forcing a second OT.
Two minutes into the second overtime—the 92nd minute of the game—Moriarty’s Isaac Pearce drove into the top of the 18 on a breakaway and got tripped up by a Rams defender, sending him to the turf and drawing a foul.
“Number 11 came behind me and kicked the back of my leg and I fell down,” Pearce said.
That set up the golden goal for McGrath.
“I told them before overtime, I said, ‘Get in the box, they will foul you and we’ll get a penalty kick,’ and it turned out to work out,” Allcorn said, adding, “Maybe a little fortunate with the penalty kick call, but Chris stepped up and buried it.”
With the win, the Pintos improved to 7-7, ending a two-game losing streak.
“Yeah, it feels good to get off the losing streak, for sure,” Allcorn said.