BOONVILLE — For the Starmount men’s soccer team, Monday night was one they’ll never forget.
After falling down 1-0 at halftime, the Starmount Rams responded with five second half goals for a 5-1 win over Bishop McGuinness. Bishop McGuinness got on the board with a penalty kick, but Starmount (4-1) Head Coach Edgar Zamora kept optimism high and delivered a strong message to the team.
“I told them that we weren’t playing our ballgame. It’s unfortunate that [Bishop McGuinness] got a call that could go either way,” Zamora said.
Zamora has one mindset he always delivers to the team, and it appeared to have an impact on the Rams, especially their starting goalkeeper.
“What really hit me the most was he said, ‘Always play like you’re down one goal,’” junior co-captain Hunter Johnson, who made 10 saves on the night, said. “…and we were. We went in knowing that this was going to be a war.”
“If you are a team that wants to have control of the ballgame, then you should always play like you need to score,” Zamora said.
It did not take long for the Rams to respond to Zamora’s words. Sophomore Victor Maya took a shot from 30 yards out and the goalkeeper appeared to misplay it as it softly rolled into the back of the net. A few minutes later, Bishop McGuinness had a golden opportunity to put themselves back on top. A foul in the box gave them their second penalty kick of the game. They converted on their first scoring opportunity, but Johnson was not going to let them convert on their second, diving to the right to stop it while the defense cleared it out of harm’s way.
On the ensuing possession, sophomore Andres Ocampo got a great pass from Jeyson Pineda from midfield. Ocampo fought off his defender and kicked it toward the right post for the go-ahead goal. Ocampo would strike again after a deflected ball headed straight for him in the attacking zone with nobody on him. Ocampo noted that Johnson’s save shifted the momentum in the Rams’ favor.
“That brought me up. I feel like it brought the team up. Hunter made a great save,” Ocampo said.
“[Ocampo is] as hard of a worker as they come, so it’s not surprising to me. He’s always in the right place at the right time,” Zamora said.
Jeyson Pineda would add two goals in the last two minutes to ice it for the fourth win of the season. Pineda, Ocampo and sophomore Jaime Maya all had assists in the win. Starmount’s next game isn’t until Sept. 9, but it’s a big one at home against Forbush.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.