In a game that tested the fitness and physical strength of the Newton High School boys’ soccer team, Jose Moreno scored with 31 seconds remaining in overtime to hand the Railers a 2-1 win over McPherson in the season opener at Fischer Field.
“I got a pass from Brayden Cornejo,” Moreno said. “We do a drill in practice every day. We go to the outside and pass to the inside. It was just like practice. Andy (Deckert) told me to leave it, but it was too good of a shot for me to let go, so I was able to put it in. My legs are pretty sore right now. I’m going to go home, take a shower and go to bed. We’ve been conditioning pretty good. I’m not too tired. It was a good game. It was fun. It was a good win for us.”
“We did a good job,” Newton coach Scott Jantzi said. “Last year, we were cramping at this point. I don’t know how the guys will feel tomorrow. Anytime you play McPherson, it’s going to be a tough game. They gave it too us again.
The game was physical, with Newton called for 17 fouls to McPherson’s 10. There were five cautions shown, three against Newton. Four of the five yellow cards were for fouls on the field. The first against Newton came when Jose Rojas tried his own version of Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal for Argentina in the 1986 World Cup and instead was carded.
“We have to keep our cards down,” Jantzi said. “We have to keep our heads. It will be a long season if we allow teams to get to us.”
Possession was about even in the first half. Newton outshot McPherson 3-1, 3-0 on goal. McPherson had a couple one-versus-goal attempts and didn’t get a shot off. Newton’s shots were all saved.
Newton scored first when Gregor Hofmann took a long pass from Andy Deckert and scored on a breakaway.
McPherson tied the game in the 58th minute when Connor Williams put in the rebound of a direct kick that Hervey Medina initially saved.
Each team had scoring chances in the remainder of regulation.
McPherson controlled possession for most of the first half of overtime, gaining one shot on goal.
Newton had the first shot of the second half of overtime. Darrius Armstrong had a one-versus-goal chance that went off the post.
Newton plays at 6:30 p.m. Thursday against Andover Central at Andover District Stadium. Central took third in the Class 4-3-2-1A state tournament and finished the season 11-7-3.
“They are probably just as good, so we have to play hard and hopefully come up with a W,” Moreno said. “Hopefully not in overtime.”
“We need to come out more organized Thursday,” Jantzi said. “It’s going to be another tough game. We’re going to have to slow things down and connect passes. We had some first game jitters and had some questions answered. The outcome was what we wanted, but it took us too long to get there. … After we beat them last year, Andover Central went on a pretty good run. They won their regional. They have some good seniors, so it will be a tough match.”
JUNIOR VARSITY — Newton and McPherson played to a scoreless draw.
Newton is 0-1-1 and plays at 5 p.m. Thursday against Andover Central.
1. N Gregor Hofmann (Andy Deckert) 43:05
2. M Connor Williams (unassisted) 57:49
3. N Jose Moreno (Brayden Cornejo) 109:29
Total shots — McP. 1-3-(1-1)—6, New. 3-5-(0-2)—10. Shots on goal — McP. 0-3-(1-0)—4, New. 3-3-(0-2)8—. Saves — McP.: Nathan Lloyd (L) 3-2-(0-1)—6. New.: Hervey Medina (W) 0-2-(1-0)—3. Corner kicks — McP. 2, New. 3. Fouls — McP. 10, New. 17. Offside — McP. 0, New. 4. Cautions — McP.: Samie Jaime 74:10, Jael Jaime 76:51. New.: Jose Rojas 5:37, Jesus Reyes 57:43, Edward Valdivia 91:00.