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No Close Call this time as Eagles Romp

Hobbs shuts out Moriarty squad in Artesia quarterfinal

 

Hobbs began its defense of the Artesia girls soccer tournament championship it won a year ago by facing one of the teams it got through in ’08. This time, however, the Eagles didn’t have much trouble with the Moriarty Pintos on Friday at the Mack Chase Athletic Complex. 

“We thought it was going to be a really close game because last year we won 1-0 in overtime,” said Hobbs junior Katilyn Ply, who scored two goals and assisted on another.

Ply’s first tally was actually the only score in the first half as the Pintos hung tough with Hobbs (1-0). With five minutes remaining before intermission, Ply got the ball on a pass around 20 yards in front of the Moriarty (0-1) goal. A second before she scored the icebreaker, Ply actually whiffed on an attempt with her right foot.

“I kinda kicked over it (the ball) and just ended up shooting with my left foot,” said Ply, who recovered immediately.

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When the second half commenced, the hits just kept coming for the Eagles.

Hali Flores, the only senior on the Hobbs roster, scored the games second goal. Ply, who assisted on that score, then booted in her second goal of the game for a 3-0 lead.

“I think the first game is tough for both teams. We tend to move the ball a lot and we were weren’t connecting in the first half,” said Cricket Lopez, the Hobbs coach. “We looked a little rusty. But the passing started connecting in the second half and that created more opportunities.”

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Lopez eventually pulled junior Makenzie Hargrove out of her usual goal keeper position for a different assignment the rest of the way. Tykee McGaha, a Hobbs junior, registered the last two goals of the game and Hargrove was credited with an assist for the last one.

“We like to reward her. She’s an excellent forward; if she were at the front, she’d probably be in the top in scoring,” Lopez said. “But we need a goal keeper and she’s unselfish. We just like to give her an opportunity to score sometimes.”

It was a long day for Moriarty and first-year coach Larry Denniston, who is beginning his first high school head coaching job after leading club soccer teams in California and, most recently, Michigan.

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The Pintos loaded a bus in Moriarty at 3:30 a.m. in preparation for getting to Artesia in time for the 10:00 a.m. scheduled start. But the bus broke down less than a half-hour out-of-town and the team had to wait for a replacement bus to be driven out to them in the wee hours of the morning.

The day’s events, according to Denniston, were not to blame for the loss – particulary the lopsided count in the second half – during the opening round of the tournament.

“I’d like to say yeah, but no,” Denniston said. “It was fitness. We went easy Monday and Tuesday because we had some serous injuries. The decision was whether to press on or ease up. I made the choice of letting up and the girls felt there was a little bit of fitness issues.

 “I tell you what, this is a great group of girls and they have great heart,” the Moriarty coach added. “They have a strong work ethic and I’m proud of them.”

Back to the Bracket!!!

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Click here for the Artesia All-Tournament Team Selections!

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