By GANNON HANEVOLD
Moapa Valley Progress
With their first league win in a few years behind them last week, the Moapa Valley High School boys soccer team hoped to build momentum and gain a win against one of the big schools. They had their first shot at that in a home match against Chaparral on Wednesday.
In the first half, the Pirates came out fighting hard. Chaparral scored first, but the Pirates responded with quite a series of attacks. Great opportunities for Sebastean Gutierrez and Bryan Robles gave Moapa shots on goal. Eventually Gutierrez capitalized with a goal that he chipped over the head of the goalkeeper.
The Pirate defense would keep the Cowboys in check and the score would remain knotted at 1-1 at the half.
In the second half, the Pirates kept the pressure on. But the goals weren’t coming on the offensive end.
Eventually, the Cowboys offense broke through as Alexander Caro scored consecutive goals to put his team up 3-1. They would continue to take the wind out of the Pirates’ sails with two more goals to round out the half, as frustration was evident on the Moapa defense.
Despite the loss, the Pirate coach Jared Bushman still felt momentum following the game. “The frustration comes from missing an opportunity,” he said. “We have to beat a big school to make the playoffs. We just let it get away from us.”
But Bushman didn’t see it as a complete loss. “I think we built confidence after that game,” he said. “We went toe to toe with them. I think it’s just being aware that there’s no guarantee those teams will win. We can beat them.”
He praised Chaparral, and acknowledged the difference that could’ve occurred in the second half. “Credit to them, their senior leaders settled down and got them some good shots,” he said. “There’s a saying in soccer that says that goals change games. They scored a goal and it changed the game. In the second half, we didn’t have enough shots. If we go up 2-1 early in the second half, we win that game.”
A game against SECTA was cancelled on Monday, due to the mass shooting incident which occurred in Las Vegas the day prior. So the Pirates only played one game on the week.