The road can be a cold and unkind place to play a boy's varsity soccer game, but on Monday Mexico was more than comfortable going into Moberly and coming out with a 7-4 North Central Missouri Conference victory.
"I was going into this match thinking it would be evenly matched, but we outplayed them on the field. We have seen Moberly before at our jamboree and we were able to get a good look at what their team was capable of on the field," said coach Chris Hawkins. "Both teams had key players out due to injury. Theirs was a defender and their goal keeper and ours was Ryan Shopher. We go into this match expecting it to be physical, like most Moberly games are."
In a contest that saw the Bulldogs go into halftime leading 4-1 before eventually winning by three, the offense was predicated on the efforts of Jeff Haines, Connor Frazier and Alan Ventura with two goals each. Muhammad Waheed also scored once, Frazier had two assists and adding an assist each were Alex Dukes, Dalyn Feigenspan and Haines.
"The possession was just about even, but we controlled the game and we made sure they knew it," Hawkins said. "Our performance overall was great as a team. We worked the ball around the field without hanging on to the ball and we were challenging almost all the 50/50 balls. We had great combination plays and quick counters, which also was a key to our success. Defensively we still have a couple things to work on because three of their goals were due to us forgetting our defensive tactics."
Mexico, 3-0 overall, 2-0 NCMC, hosted Marshall on Tuesday and Battle comes to town on Thursday.
The Bulldogs JV was also in action that night and tied the Spartans 1-1.
"Since Moberly doesn't have enough for JV and varsity we just played one 35 minute half for JV. We are still needing to improve our fundamentals: passing to someone’s feet, going to the ball when passed and making stronger passes," said Hawkins. "The JV did a good job working the ball around the field and challenging the other team for the ball. Seamus Levin was in goal for half the game and made a great stop from a penalty kick. When Edward Jimenez was in he didn't let a single ball through."
Scoring for the Mexico JV, 0-0-2 overall, was Riley Given on the assist from Waheed.