By G. Demarest
Moriarty High School’s girls soccer season kicked off last week with a wet and shortened 4-0 win at home over the Academy for Technology and the Classics, or ATC.
Moriarty freshman Chloe Rector produced two goals while fellow freshman Ashley Strader and senior Emma Roberts each chipped in a goal to help solidify an opening-day victory for the second year in a row.
The Lady Pintos beat ATC in last year’s season-opener, a game that was also played in the rain.
“It feels good, I feel like they did a good job,” head coach Val Luker said of the team’s Aug. 25 win over ATC.
Moriarty fired 15 shots-on-goal in the first half against ATC, but most of those attempts missed the mark.
The Pintos didn’t find the net until the 23rd minute when Strader took possession of a kick from ATC’s goal keeper and returned it downfield.
“Their goalie kicked it out, and I trapped it, and there was no one there so I just took it to the goal,” said Strader.
Rector followed with a pair of goals, the first one a left-footed cross kick from about 15 yards out, and the other a straight-on sliding drive just before halftime.
Roberts, who had missed two previous shots in the game, scored Moriarty’s final goal in the 53rd minute when she drove a shot right through the hands of ATC’s goalkeeper.
“I was afraid it wasn’t gonna make it because I thought she blocked it, and I thought, ‘Oh no, not again!’” Roberts said, adding, “And then it went in, and I was so happy, I gave Chloe a hug—well, she came up and like, tackled me.”
“She’d gotten so close and I wanted her to make a goal so bad because it’s her last year,” Rector said. “So I just ran over and gave her a big hug.”
Roberts’ first attempt clanged off the crossbar in the game’s opening minutes. Her second missed shot sailed over the goal early in the second half.
“It was driving me crazy because I haven’t scored in a long time,” Roberts said. Her last previous goal was a year ago against Atrisco Heritage.
Five minutes after Roberts’ goal, lightning and a torrential downpour resulted in a 30-minute delay.
Eventually the officials and both teams’ coaches agreed to end the game, officially at 58 minutes. High school soccer games are 80 minutes in length.
“There were some missed opportunities but this is a good way to start, I think we got a good foot out of the gate,” Luker said.
The victory over ATC was followed by a pair of defeats: a 10-0 blanking last Thursday at the hands of top-ranked Los Alamos and a 3-1 loss to Capital High in Santa Fe last Saturday. “Capital was a good game, I felt we played well,” Luker said.
Moriarty played Tuesday at Portales after The Independent went to print. The Lady Pintos travel back to Santa Fe on Thursday to face Santa Fe High.
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.