MCHS soccer team cruises past Cortez
Box score from Saturday’s Moffat County High School boys varsity soccer game versus Montezuma-Cortez:
(Team, 1st half, 2nd Half, Final)
Cortez, 1, 0, 1
Moffat, 4, 2, 6
How the Bulldogs scored:
MCHS (1-0): Jonathan Pando unassisted goal
MCHS (1-1): Montezuma-Cortez unassisted goal
MCHS (2-1): Alex Perez goal, assisted by Alan Flores
MCHS (3-1): Tracy Mendoza goal, assisted by Alex Perez
MCHS (4-1): Alan Flores goal, assisted by Alex Perez
MCHS (5-1): Jorge Gonzalez goal, assisted by Alan Flores and Alex Perez
MCHS (6-1): Victor Villa goal on penalty kick
Although there was a smattering of vuvuzelas sounding at halftime, it was the Moffat County High School boys varsity soccer team making the most noise Saturday at Loudy-Simpson Park.
The Bulldogs won their season opener, 6-1, over the visiting Montezuma-Cortez High School Panthers.
Coach Rusty Cox said the Bulldogs needed a little time to establish themselves.
“It was a good game,” he said. “At first, our passes were a little off. Then, they started to get comfortable.
“We were in their half for most of the game, and we were almost there, but not quite.”
But, following a couple of near misses, Moffat County caught fire.
“They started making their passes,” Cox said. “They started making their touches and talking.
“You could see it starting to come together. They are hard to stop when they make their passes.”
Junior Jonathan Pando got the Bulldogs started with a goal early in the first half.
The MCHS junior sent a rocket flying past the Panthers’ goalie to score the first goal of the season.
Montezuma-Cortez, however, wouldn’t go away.
Shortly after Pando’s goal, the Panthers scored one of their own, knotting the score at 1-1.
Moffat County remained in Panthers territory, and after several missed attempts — including two that hit off the goal post — sophomore Alan Flores connected with sophomore Alex Perez to put the Bulldogs up, 2-1.
From there, the floodgates opened.
Flores found senior Tracy Mendoza for the Bulldogs’ third goal, then Perez crossed to ball to Flores to give Moffat County a 4-1 advantage going into halftime.
Flores said he had first-game jitters, but they quickly vanished after the Bulldogs scored their first goal.
“It was our first game,” he said. “You’re always going to be a little nervous.”
But, as soon as the Bulldogs were able to execute their game plan, Flores was able to chip in with a goal and two assists.
“That was a pretty good game for our team,” he said. “I liked how we talked as a team. We were all talking, passing to each other.”
The second half opened the same way the first half ended.
Junior Jorge Gonzalez was the recipient of passes from Perez and Flores, and drilled a shot into the back of the Montezuma-Cortez net.
Following a penalty halfway through the second half, senior Victor Villa connected on his penalty shot to close out the scoring, 6-1, in favor of the Bulldogs.
Senior goalie Dustin Carlson, who made several saves in the first half, only needed a handful in the second.
Cox said he could see his team improving as the game went on.
“They played together, and as a team,” he said. “They never gave up. They attacked the ball, and that was the biggest difference, to me.
“They never once backed off. Even if they lost the ball, they went back after it.”