Babb saves season as Moapa Valley boys win play-in match

Robby Babb literally saved Moapa Valley’s boys soccer season Wednesday.

The sophomore goalkeeper made eight saves in overtime, then stopped a potential match-ending penalty kick in a shootout, and finally saved a potential match-tying penalty kick in sudden-death penalty kicks.

As a result, Babb and the Pirates get to play again on Thursday.

Moapa Valley and White Pine played to a 1-1 tie through two overtimes in a Class 3A Southern League play-in game in Mesquite before the Pirates won a shootout, 4-3 in the sixth round.

Moapa Valley (2-9-2) advances to meet league champion Virgin Valley in a semifinal Thursday at 6 p.m. at Bettye Wilson Park.

“He was unconscious,” Moapa Valley coach Gerald Swanson said of his goalkeeper. “Babb put on a clinic.”

After the teams played two scoreless 15-minute overtimes, Moapa Valley went first in the shootout and trailed 3-1 after three rounds.

The Pirates scored and White Pine hit the crossbar in the fourth round to make it 3-2.

In the fifth round, Moapa Valley scored, and Babb dived to make a save on the White Pine shot, forcing sudden-death.

Hector Cervantes connected for a goal for Moapa, putting the Pirates ahead for the first time in the shootout. Babb preserved the win with a save high on the left side of the goal on a shot by White Pine’s Jacob Bradshaw.

Saje Gale scored in the first half for the Bobcats (1-10-2).

Dylan Smith tied the match for Moapa Valley with 11 minutes left in the first half.

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