IGNACIO — Paired over a public-address sound system, it’s possible, if not probable that no two names in the 3A/2A Southwestern League this spring have more of a rhythmic ring.
And Saturday afternoon, any emcee worth his/her voice would have relished the chance to crack IHS Field’s mic and declare the duo directly responsible for the SWL contest’s 75th-minute goal: ‘Lipke to Layton.’
Or better yet, use their respective first names: ‘Melody to Memory.’
Alas, no such individual sat inside the home team’s press box—indeed a small loss for visiting Alamosa, but nonetheless part of a much greater 6-nil road victory for the Mean Moose.
“You know, it’s nice to see everything finally come together,” said head coach Cheyenne Sinn. “We’ve been working on trying to create those triangle passes…play the way you face, taking the ball up the line and playing those slots, crashing—and it was nice to…get that success we’ve been looking for.”
“I think there’s this kind of morale you lose when you start getting losses, and just being able to work together on the field—passing together, being a team and scoring—that’s what we’re really needing,” said Lipke, one of AHS’ six seniors. “So…from here on out it’s going to be great; I think we’re going to see a lot more from the rest of the season.”
It took just three minutes for 3A Alamosa to expose 2A Ignacio’s relaxed—the personnel-depleted Lady Bobcats were relieved over defeating arch-nemesis Center 4-1 the previous afternoon—energy, with Lipke converting a pass from junior Larissa Medina for a 1-0 advantage. Set up well by junior Devyn Mitchell, Lipke then doubled the lead in the 17th with an upper-corner rocket from at least 20 yards out which left goalie Jaylene Riepel no chance of stopping.
“You have to not worry about what’s going on around you,” said Lipke. “I just sighted the top of the goal and shot it! You have to take those chances, and it went right where I wanted it to.”
Resulting from a foul called against IHS’ Alexis Pontine, Mitchell then cashed a penalty kick in the 25th, and freshman Malia Tuioti-Mariner increased the guests’ lead to 4-0 in the 31st off an assist from junior Emily Crowder.
Despite Medina and Mitchell departing at intermission, Alamosa (2-10 overall, 2-7 3A/2A SWL, 1-5 3A SWL) restarted the scoring after the break with Tuioti-Mariner netting junior Lisseth Lemus’ 49th-minute feed from the right wing.
Ignacio (2-12, 2-12, 2-7 2A SWL), however, managed to avoid further damage—despite the Moose unofficially attempting 31 shots during the match, placing 25 on target, and owning a jaw-dropping 19-0 lead in corner kicks—in their last home date of 2019 until Lipke crossed a short-range ball late to Layton, a junior.
“The team we have this year…. They really have a ‘team’ mentality and a sense of ‘I have a goal, so let me pass now; let me set them up,’” said Sinn, noting particularly her reserves’ efforts after the aforementioned regulars’ exit. “They almost work harder for our other players that don’t quite get those opportunities, to find them those opportunities and share the ball.”
“We don’t just rely on one person in one spot all the time,” Lipke said. “If someone else is coming in, we’ll trust them and play the ball to them. Everyone plays differently and that’s why we all practice together and get to know each other. So the loss of two players for half the game…was nothing to us; we just kept going.”
Riepel unofficially totaled 19 saves in defeat, while junior Kelly Castillo and freshman Raygen Abeyta each played a half in net for AHS, splitting the shutout without facing a single shot.
Up next, Alamosa will begin the season’s final week hosting CHS (0-11, 0-11, 0-8 2A SWL) at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 30. 2A Telluride visits Friday, May 3, for a 4 p.m. start, with 2A Ridgway arriving the next morning for kickoff at 11 a.m.
“It has been a tough season, but we have a lot of potential that we just haven’t been able to tap into,” said Sinn. “So it’s nice for the girls; it’s a confidence-booster to let them see the drills from practice finally carry over. Hopefully, you know, we can carry some of this momentum forward.”