Because both the Mexico and Moberly varsity boys soccer teams are dealing with roster issues, it was a varsity-only affair when these squads went head-to-head in North Central Missouri Conference competition at home on Oct. 10.
Even though this was the second of four-consecutive home games for the Bulldogs to end the regular season and it was Senior night, Moberly peppered the goalie with shot after shot until it finally came out ahead 6-4.
"Unfortunately, we had four starters out due to illness or injury. The whole game we possessed the ball about half the time," said coach Chris Hawkins. "We made a could mistakes in the backfield, but that is what happens when there is a younger backline. We had seniors and juniors making sure positions were covered as well as helping defend every where. The passes were not always on target, but at least close. We had some trouble clearing the ball to a side instead of down the middle."
Despite being down 3-0 at halftime, Diego Vasquez still came back to chart a hat trick for Mexico. Alan Ventura also had a goal, Bayle Dukes made eight saves in net and adding an assist each were Ryan Shopher, Brayan Ramirez, Alex Dukes, and Brennen McIntosh.
"Moberly was not afraid to rip a shot from range. In total we had 13 shots on goal and we made sure the keeper had to work for the save," Hawkins said. "We played well and others stepped up when called upon, but we were too beat down from the injuries to win."
More recently on Thursday Mexico hosted Boonville for a league game that went to double overtime. Once most of the extra sessions had fallen by the wayside, there were just four minutes left when the Pirates connected to win the game 2-1.
"The varsity impressed me last night. They came out fired up and made sure their last home game was one to remember," said Hawkins. "We have not played this well since we played against Battle. Passes were near perfect and we were not diving for the ball when on defense. We controlled the entire game with putting 16 shots on goal, but most of those were straight at the keeper.We had a lot of movement off the ball that led to a lot of scoring opportunities. We wanted to leave it all on the field (that) night."
One reason this game was stuck in a scoreless tie halftime is that Boonville only had five shots on goal. Connor Frazier also scored for Mexico on a penalty kick.
"We came out excited after halftime since we were dominating the game. We finally got a break when we were shoved in the box," Hawkins said. "Boonville tied it up about 20 minutes later when they had a hard shot and just followed it for a goal. We had to go into double overtime. We were still in control, but all it takes is a split second for it to be over."
In the JV game the Bulldogs, 1-10-3 overall, were also defeated 2-1 despite a goal by Diego Vasquez. Adir Vega also got the assist and the team had three other good chances at scoring, all of which were called offsides.
"I was extremely impressed by the way JV played last night. They knew it was their last game and put it all out on the field. They challenged every ball and made sure every pass was to someone's foot," said Hawkins. "Spencer Harris left it all out there making sure he was brick wall. Kyle Hightshoe saved a goal by getting off the goal line and booting it out."
The Bulldogs, 4-17 overall, 3-9 NCMC, hosted Fulton on Monday in a league contest.