Barely a minute had passed during Moriarty High’s Sept. 11 girls soccer match against the visiting West Mesa Lady Mustangs when Ashley Strader netted her first goal.
In the second half, she poked the ball into the net three more times to lift the Lady Pintos (2-3) to a 4-0 victory.
“The last two games we were thinking we should’ve won, so in this game we were really focused,” Strader said. “Our goal was to come out strong and score really fast.”
“They came out and did what they needed to do,” Moriarty head coach Val Luker said, adding, “Then they got sucked into the level of the other team.”
The Lady Pintos won possession and aggressively attacked the rest of the game, but it wasn’t until the second half that Strader scored Moriarty’s second goal on a corner kick.
“It came in and Chloe [Rector] picked it up and I just followed through,” Strader said.
Strader’s third goal came in the 55th minute when she grabbed a through ball—a long pass from midfield—from teammate Jean Shelly Massey. Strader took three touches and drove the ball into the right side of the goal.
In the 61st minute, Strader took another pass from Massey near the edge of the 18-yard box and used a couple of spin moves to dribble the ball past a pair of West Mesa defenders before poking it just inside the left upright.
“She [Massey] sent it and there was a defender in front of me, so I just turned around and she went behind me so I turned again,” Strader said. “Then their keeper came out and left a big gap.”
Luker said she told her players at halftime to play their game and not think about the other team.
“I said, ‘Connect on those passes, play a game of possession, and pass in the green,’” Luker said. “We’re breaking in some new girls on the wings and they’re still trying to get there, so hopefully we’ll go forward from here.”
The Lady Pintos hosted Belen Sept. 13 followed by a match at Bernalillo Sept. 15.