By GANNON HANEVOLD
Moapa Valley Progress
The Moapa Valley High School Boys Soccer team knew that it had some tough matchups on its hands last week. But the team members fought tooth and nail regardless.
The first game of the week came on Tuesday, Sept. 5, at home against a talented SECTA team. SECTA has been a juggernaut in the Division 3A Soccer throughout recent memory. Nevertheless, in the first half, it seemed like the Pirates might be able to hold off the Roadrunners.
The Pirates gave up just two goals in the first half, which was certainly closer than where they got when they took on Sunrise Mountain just a week earlier, another talented Southern Nevada team. But in the second half, the SECTA team found its groove and scored on four more goals to lead to a 6-0 final.
“Some of the same problems kept happening, and good teams figure those problems out,” said Moapa head coach Jared Bushman. “So in the second half Tech was just better at attacking our weaknesses.”
But Bushman felt that the lesson of the first half was that his team can compete with the big schools. “If we can just do better defensively, anything is possible,” he said.
In the second game of the week, the Pirates traveled Thursday to Chaparral for a meeting with the Cowboys. Three goals in the first half, and two in the second, up to one Pirate loss by a score of 5-0. But Bushman wasn’t completely disappointed with his team’s performance.
“We actually did a lot better,” Bushman said. “In the SECTA game we were constantly under attack. Against Chaparral, we were actually pretty effective but just made some big mistakes in the wrong moments.”
Bushman praised his team’s defenders as well. “Josh Lee and Ramiro Corrales did a really good job in the center of the defense,” he said .
As for what ultimately led the team to a number in the loss column, Bushman added, “We’re not taking shots right now. We’re trying to set up for the perfect moment, and there are no perfect moments in soccer. We need to be more willing to take shots when we have the opportunities.”
Last week the Pirates were also missing two of their key players in Isaah Fairchild and Israel Rubio due to injuries. These two players are vital pieces on both ends of the field. Getting them back should be a huge boost for Moapa Valley as the season rolls along.
The team now needs to bounce back and has a huge opportunity this week against Virgin Valley to do so. Bushman believes that the team has the confidence to do so, even following last week’s pair of losses. “I think the team, especially after the Chaparral game, was encouraged by the effort,” he said. “They felt like they could do more. I think it’s just about slowly convincing them that they’re capable.”