Hindsale South goalie Jose Moreno steps up in Red Devil Cup
Updated: October 1, 2012 1:16PM
Hinsdale South lost a game but may have found a future star Saturday.
Junior goalie Jose Moreno made his second varsity start between the pipes and turned in a brilliant performance, making six saves and keeping the Hornets close in a 2-0 loss to host Hinsdale Central in the third place match of the Red Devil Cup.
Moreno and senior Grant Morford are both in their first year at the varsity level. Morford is the starter but wasn’t available Saturday, giving Moreno a chance to show his stuff.
“He stepped up big,” Hinsdale South coach James VanDenburgh said. “Grant Morford is away so he stepped in as the starter and was very impressive, especially with the weather and the shots and how many opportunities they had on goal. I think he did a great job.”
Moreno was under siege at times against the more experienced Red Devils, who peppered him with 19 shots and sent many other dangerous balls into the penalty area. But the only goals he allowed were when Phillip Gutman beat an offside trap in the first half and then a rebound goal by Gutman in the second half.
“My personal goal for today was to prove myself,” Moreno said. “I think Coach said I’m not the usual starter and the other goalie is older, so I just had to prove myself and keep calm, just know that all my practices served me well.”
In a sign of the confidence VanDenburgh has in his goalies, the Hornets (1-4) are experimenting with playing the offside trap, which when done well can keep teams far away from the goal. When it fails, however, the other team usually has a breakaway.
But Moreno, who has been a goalie since he was in fifth grade, relishes the responsibility.
“It means a lot. I really actually do enjoy that pressure because it kind of puts you in the spotlight,” Moreno said. “I see it as the ultimate test of character. Either you save the team or it’s all your fault, but I kind of like that. It shows braveness sometimes to go out there because if you make the right plays you’re the hero.”
VanDenburgh foresees Moreno making more big plays for the Hornets.
“I think his biggest asset is his passion for soccer,” VanDenburgh said. “He loves the game and he’s going to continue to develop and he’s going to be the full-time starter next year without a doubt.
“But I think he’s still getting better. Today he came off the line and did well there, but he can still always get better.”
The same goes for the Hornets, who after losing their first three matches against tough opponents have acquitted themselves well in the past two, which included a 4-1 victory over Brother Rice on Aug. 29.
“Everything is a work in progress but every game gets better,” Moreno said. “I think it does help that all our players play club soccer because that prepares them. Also our coaches do a great job getting us ready in the preseason, just building us up and making sure we have the right conditioning in training.”