J.J. Porter’s successful free kick in the 32nd minute capped a three-goal second half rally to lift East Mountain High School’s boys soccer team to a 3-2 win over host Moriarty in last Saturday’s preseason scrimmage.
“It was a great team victory,” East Mountain head coach Frank Trusiano said.
Following a Pintos’ foul, Porter quickly put the ball in place and launched a high kick just beyond the reach of Moriarty’s goalkeeper Ethan Tolleson. “I looked up, saw [Tolleson] out of position and I just put it in,” Porter said.
Porter, a junior who played a defender position last year and scored just one goal, is excited about taking on a striker role this season.
“I’m lovin’ it,” he said.
The scrimmage was a dress rehearsal for both teams before the official season gets underway, and as much as it was a morale boost for the Timberwolves, it was a preseason progress report for the Pintos.
“It’s a scrimmage,” said Moriarty head coach Jordan Allcorn. “This was about experimenting, figuring out what we’ve got to work on.”
The Pintos grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first half when Pavel Arguello chipped in a free kick in the 12th minute.
Moriarty took a 2-0 advantage 11 minutes into the second half when Alex Urquhart found the back of the net from 10-yards out.
But three minutes later East Mountain started its second-half surge. Dante Zanetic got the T’Wolves on the board with a free kick in the 44th minute.
Trusiano responded with a loud, “Yeah! That’s what I’m talkin’ about, T’Wolves! Stay aggressive.”
His team took the rallying cry to heart.
Four minutes later Jose Perea crashed the box and knocked in a 5-yard goal to knot the score at 2-2.
“I think our team is vastly improved,” Trusiano said. “We have some good size, we’re better athletically, and our defense is going to be very tough this year, I think that’s going to carry us.”
Having lost a number of key starters from last year’s squad, Trusiano said East Mountain’s philosophy this year is to build the team from the back to the front.
“It starts with our goal keeper position, then our defense and all the way up to our strikers,” Trusiano said. “We’ll be tested Tuesday at Socorro.”
Moriarty also lost some key members to graduation and played the scrimmage without starters Wyatt Jones and Lucas Shirley. Allcorn acknowledged, “We’ve got to get better before we play Bernalillo,” adding, “But give credit to them, they played their butts off. They played very well and we didn’t.”
Moriarty’s season kicks off Aug. 23 at home against Bernalillo. East Mountain played at Socorro Tuesday after The Independent went to print.
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.