By GANNON HANEVOLD
Moapa Valley Progress
The last time the Moapa Valley High School Boys soccer team was able to win a league game was in 2013. That year, the Pirates took down Boulder City. But the they hadn’t beaten a divisional opponent since. But last week that streak came finally to an end.
The Pirates’ first game of the week came on the road against the Eagles of Boulder City High School. Going into the game, the team felt like that day might be the one where they could get their first win of the season. But they ended up trailing 2-0 by the second half.
Moapa needed a goal to cut the lead. Sure enough, senior Israel Rubio put the ball in the back of the net to make the score 2-1. But the play was bittersweet. Rubio went down with a knee injury following the score. He is now expected to miss extended time for the Pirates. What’s more, Moapa would fall in the game, 2-1.
But there were some positives in the game despite the loss and the injury to Rubio. “It was just basically a battle that went back and forth,” said MVHS Head coach Jared Bushman of the game. “We out-shot them but we put very few shots on target. That game was well within our ability to win.”
The second game of the week came at home against Sky Pointe, a new addition to Division 3A, and a very young school in general.
The Pirates were down some key players. Rubio was out with the injury. Ramiro Corrales was also sidelined due to a red card in the loss to Boulder City. Isaah Fairchild was also missing from Moapa’s defensive backfield as well due to injury. Despite all of this, the Pirates came out and put on a show for their home fans.
In the first half, the Pirates scored an impressive three goals, topping their season high in just the first forty minutes. Two more goals in the second half from Moapa and the Pirates would eventually hold on to a 5-1 victory.
Scoring two goals for the Pirates was Sebastean Gutierrez. Other scorers on the team were Ethynn Fulman, Gabriel Hernandez and Bryan Robles. Robles also finished with a remarkable three assists to go along with the goal.
“I’ve told Bryan he kind of has to be the star of the show and he did,” Bushman said. “Bryan and Gabriel both really orchestrated the offense well and look great together.”
As for the win itself, the Pirates head coach said this victory has been the culmination of weeks of emotion from the team. “There’s a lot of negativity when a team starts losing,” he said.. “There’s pressure and negative comments from peers and others and the expectations for the group lower. They got sick of all the negativity and were just positive from the beginning of the game.”
Having been coaching the boys soccer team for many years through some hard seasons, this was certainly an exciting moment for Bushman. But he couldn’t take any credit for the team’s win.
“Just watching the kids’ faces after the game and being able to go in afterwards and just say ‘congratulations’ it was great,” Bushman said. “They stuck to the game plan and supported each other. There was a very positive feeling on the field. It was a reward for doing things the right way. All credit goes to the boys. They earned that one.”
Looking forward, the Pirates hope to grab a few more wins before the end of the season and perhaps put themselves in the conversation for a playoff spot. Perhaps getting a win was just a step in the right direction for a program that’s been hoping to move that way for plenty of years.