North Central Missouri Conference games are never easy, and add the element of travel and the Mexico varsity boy's soccer team had its work cut out for it at Boonville on Sept. 14.
The Pirates weren't very hospitable hosts,, either, taking a 2-0 lead before finally defeating the Bulldogs 4-2.
"We played a very physical game against Boonville. The ref was not calling a lot of fouls but only the harsher ones," said coach Chris Hawkins. "The possession was about 50/50 the whole game. Boonville ended up scoring early, but that did not stop us. We did not hang our heads and kept playing. It is hard to play on turf and get use to the quick ball movement when we practice and play primarily on thick taller grass, where you have got to put some muscle behind each pass or shot."
Scoring for Mexico off of a corner kick was Alex Ventura. Connor Frazier and Jeff Haines also did their part for the team with an assist each.
"There we would pass it like we were at home and then the ball was moving too quickly for us to catch it. We adjust fairly quick to pass it to feet and making sure we got a touch on the ball before we turned instead of turning without the ball," Hawkins said. "We weren't throwing in the towel. Diego Vasquez ended up hitting a volley from about 25 yards out into the goal and the keeper did not have time to react. We were only down by one and we were still fighting. They ended up scoring on us again."
Boonville then hit nothing-but-net with about two minutes remaining to secure this league decision.
In the JV game the Bulldogs, 0-5-2 overall, lost 2-0.
"Most of the JV boys have not had a chance to play on turf so they took a longer time to adjust to the field. This was also a very physical game," said Hawkins. "Boonville controlled the game for the most part, but we were not making it easy for them. We were passing the ball between us well, but we reverted to bad habits of letting the ball run when we wanted to turn, so the ball was never really under control."
Mexico, 3-7 overall, had a game scheduled for Monday at Fatima that was cancelled because of field conditions.