Moriarty High School’s boys soccer team played scrappy enough to win against the visiting Hope Christian Huskies Sept. 29 but a couple of glitches cost the Pintos the game.
The first stumbling block occurred early in the second half, and the final blow came just before the final whistle.
Trailing by a goal with under a minute left to play, the Pintos were awarded a free kick that could’ve tied the game—had it gone in.
But Hope’s goalkeeper stopped it, handing the Pintos a 1-0 defeat.
“They beat us, they were better today, and we’ll take that,” Moriarty’s Frank McCleave said to teammate Seth Thompson as they walked off the field.
After a scoreless first half, the Huskies (7-4) came out attacking at the start of the second half, keeping the Pintos’ defenders and goalkeeper C.J. Trammell very busy.
Trammell made several diving saves throughout the match and finished with a total of 18.
“He’s been making those plays for us all year,” Moriarty head coach Jordan Allcorn said about Trammell.
The only ball that got past Trammell came on a Hope fast break in the 42nd minute.
“I probably should’ve stepped out but I didn’t,” Trammell said. “I went to dive and [the Huskies’ forward] put it straight into the middle and it was just out of my reach.”
Moriarty (5-7) battled down to the wire and had opportunities to score in the game’s waning minutes.
Jordan Horoschak took two shots in the 76th and 78th minutes—one was saved by Hope’s goalkeeper and the other sailed above the crossbar.
In the 79th minute while attacking again, Horoschak got knocked to the ground by a Hope defender just outside the 18-yard box, awarding the Pintos a free kick.
Moriarty’s Luca Luppes took the free shot, but he kicked the ball into the center of the frame where Hope’s keeper cradled it to secure the victory.
“Hope’s a quality program, they’re the defending state champions,” Allcorn said, adding, “Play hard, play physical, try to frustrate them, that was pretty much the game plan and I’m happy with the way we executed it.”