By GANNON HANEVOLD
Moapa Valley Progress
The Moapa Valley High School Boys Soccer team has been through adversity in recent years, and has struggled to see wins come out of it. But in the 2017 season, they were able to take part in two victories.
In their final week of play, with those two wins on their record, the team hoped to achieve more with two more games still on the schedule.
The first game of the week came on the road on Oct. 24 against Sky Pointe, a team the Pirates had defeated by a 5-1 score in Moapa earlier in the season. This time around, the Eagles came out with much more motivation. It was the Eagles’ last home game of the season, a winless one for them so far. A goal in the first half, and another to match in the second half gave Sky Pointe a 2-0 victory over the visiting Pirates.
Pirates head coach Jared Bushman said of the loss, “We weren’t mentally ready to play that game. I think we took a fair amount of shots but we weren’t nearly as aggressive. They came out with a ton of energy and enthusiasm and we just couldn’t match it.”
In the second game of the week, Moapa Valley traveled to take on SECTA, a team that boasts the best record in the Sunrise division. The Roadrunners led 1-0 after a half of play with Pirates. This was an exciting start for a Moapa team that fell to SECTA 6-0 in their previous meeting.
The Pirates came out in the second half and kept up their strong defensive effort. However, their offensive end wasn’t able to break through and put a goal in the net. The Roadrunners added two more to make the final score 3-0.
“We actually played pretty well,” Bushman said. “Tanner Johnson had a great game in goal but we just didn’t have the attacking energy to create shots. We had a few opportunities but just couldn’t turn it into shots.”
“They’re the champion of our division, so to hold them to three goals is a pretty big deal for us,” Bushman added.
Looking back on the season, it’s bittersweet for the Pirates, because they were able to get some wins under their belt, but there is always a desire for more. “Looking back on the season I don’t think it was for a lack of effort,” Bushman said. “We faced a lot of adversity and the boys handled it well. They fought hard, stood tall, and didn’t quit.”
If there was one game that stood out for the team, Bushman highlighted the 2-0 shutout against Boulder City in the home closer. “There was just a different mentality in that game,” he said. “I hope they can take from that and build on it.”.
Bushman has been at the helm as the head coach of Moapa Valley’s soccer program for six seasons. He is resigning from the position as this season concludes.
In his final year, Bushman praised the group of seniors that played their final minutes last week. “What I’ve learned over six years is that the boys that go through the most learn the most,” Bushman said. “Losing is adversity and you have to learn how to get along with each other and accept each other through the difficult times.”
“I think these boys have learned that winning is more than just about the final score,” Bushman added. “It’s about how you carry yourself and how you move forward.”
A winning mentality might have been instilled for the next year, thanks to a team in 2017 that was on a mission to prove doubters wrong.