IGNACIO—Despite Saturday morning’s wintry weather, it was clear Kara Bentley’s jets still hadn’t fully cooled after a late penalty kick, stemming from a dubious (and disputed) hand-ball infraction, allowed Montezuma-Cortez to snatch a 3-2 win the previous afternoon.
So though Alamosa’s first-year skipper enjoyed seeing junior standout Katie Parkins at the spot for a successful 13th-minute PK—this time resulting from an obvious hand-ball—against 2A Ignacio, her brain couldn’t not ponder the team’s imminent slip from 14th in CHSAA’s Class 3A RPI index to something more unsettling.
“It was pretty evenly-matched,” she recalled of the loss, “but three p.k.’s in one game…. I mean, what can you do? It was a frustrating loss for us…and now we’re at a point where we’re playing a little bit of a waiting game to see how the result goes with Bayfield [at M-CHS].”
Sunday evening it was revealed that despite what ended up being a 7-0 win at IHS Field, the Mean Moose had dropped to 21st—only 12 automatic qualifiers and 12 RPI-based crews advance to the State Tournament’s 24-team opening round next week—meaning there will be added pressure to avoid disaster in Tuesday’s regular-season finale at home (6:30 p.m. kickoff) versus 2A Center.
AHS (9-4 overall, 7-4 versus the combined 3A/2A Intermountain, 2-4 versus the league’s 3A side) and M-CHS (6-7, 6-6, 2-3) were tied 2-2 at halftime, but the Moose found themselves up 2-nil at intermission against Ignacio after Parkins drilled a long-range shot in the 17th minute.
She would strike again quickly after the break, scoring through IHS goalie Bailey Wyatt’s hands in the 43rd and volleying in a teammate’s pass in the 46th. Not even a minute after the Lady Bobcats (0-11, 0-11, 0-7 against the IML’s 2A side) took the kickoff, Parkins set up Katy Gallegos about 20 yards straightaway from goal and the junior lined a perfect shot over Wyatt’s extended gloves.
“In the second half we definitely played more together as a team—the first half we were playing more as individuals—and as a cohesive unit,” Bentley said. “I was much happier today.”
Parkins knocked in her fifth goal in the 59th minute, scoring from point-blank range past a stunned Wyatt, who was then pulled from action to have her left hand quickly examined.
“I think she got her finger broken, but she said she’s going to tape it up and keep playing,” said Ignacio head coach Daniel Sanchez. “I thought she did a great job. Kept us in the game.”
“I think with the seniors’ ceremony at halftime, we got off-track second half,” he continued, referring to his side’s Senior Day salutes prolonging halftime, “but I was glad we didn’t get 10-0’d.”
That became a real possibility in the 62nd, when Parkins burned emergency reserve keeper Leela Rosa—incumbent Lanie Webb came to the match on crutches—with the first shot she faced, but when Wyatt re-entered in the 65th Ignacio’s defense tightened to an extent; Wyatt finished with 20 total saves out of 27 attempts on net.
Unofficially, Alamosa fired 35 shots in all—one being Parkins’ 26th-minute rocket off the crossbar—while allowing none on starting goalie Ashley Ramirez or second-half switch Natelya Mendoza.
Rotating as many players in as possible was a point of emphasis for AHS’ coaching staff—“keeping our girls injury-free at this point…getting a little bit of rest,” said Bentley—with only one match left on the schedule and hopefully at least one more still to come.
“Not being complacent whatsoever,” Bentley stated.
THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY IS MY…: Upsetting Alamosa gave Montezuma-Cortez a split of the teams’ regular-season meetings, but the Moose still hold a 5:4 head-to-head goals-scored advantage—as they do in a similar situation regarding Bayfield (AHS 4:3), scheduled to visit the Lady Panthers’ Johnson Field Tuesday at 5 p.m.
A 2-1 loss at Ridgway last Friday, coupled with AHS’ loss, dropped BHS to 30th in the RPI index. M-CHS, meanwhile, climbed to 28th but has no more matches scheduled after Bayfield—which still has Saturday’s snowed-out trip to Telluride (#3 in the 2A index; RHS stands #9) to also complete.
Caption: Alamosa’s Kelly Castillo (8) fights off Ignacio’s Chamisa Edd while going for possession in Saturday’s match at IHS Field. The Mean Moose won 7-0. Photo by Joel Priest