In view of teammates attempting to stay warm, Alamosa sophomore Makenzie Rogers (11) goes up for a header while taking an apparent forearm chop from Bayfield senior Misty Helton (18), Friday afternoon at BHS. (Photo courtesy Joel Priest)
BAYFIELD — The Moose were content enough to keep five, sometimes six players near, or within their own 18. The strategy was to counteract not only the home team’s forwards, but also the vicious north wind at their backs. Alamosa wasn’t really worried at all that they’d managed just two shots going into halftime Friday afternoon.
They also seemed unfazed that BHS’ Halle Loveday had drilled home a 12-yarder in the 30th minute, putting them down 1-nil.
“They had the wind and every time we kicked the ball…. The wind was terrible!” said senior Katie Parkins, laughing at how the gusts and frigid air rerouted, if not arrested completely almost anything aerial before intermission. “So we were playing more defensive than offensive.”
“I think, you know, we want to play the wind, but at the same time we had attacks in the first half,” head coach Cheyenne Sinn said. “So I think the wind plays into it, but we’ve still got to play soccer…keep it on the ground, anyway.”
Until things got interesting in the second half. A delayed whistle on an obvious hand-ball was called against Lady Wolverine freshman Madison Wells. This gave Parkins a chance to equalize from the spot in the 49th minute, but her attempt clanged off keeper Lana McKee’s crossbar and back into play.
The ball was cleared out of bounds however, over the end line, by a BHS boot, giving Alamosa a corner in the 50th. Senior Alana Hackett’s right-footed kick not only curled towards teammates, but gained some extra bend in the breeze, deflecting off a BHS player, and skidded into the net at McKee’s far post.
Chaos and clutter in front of McKee resulted in AHS’ winning score in the 61st minute.Parkins—effectively contained by Bayfield defenders Tayler Ludwig and Sarah Ruybal during the first half—more or less forced the ball into the net…with a little assist from Mother Nature.
“We had the wind, and it, like, bounced over the goalie and I followed…just kind of ‘tackled’ it into the goal, because I saw a girl coming,” she said. “I kind of ran into the ball and it went right in—it worked out!”
“With the wind going against us, it was hard to breathe,” said BHS junior Caibri Schaefer. Schaefer was a defender forced into an attacking role with senior Sophie Turner suspended for her double-yellow dismissal three days before in a 1-0 loss to Pagosa Springs. “But…we’ve just got to keep pushing, keep communicating out there.”
Moose goalie Ashley Ramirez faced zero shots during the second half and unofficially finished with six total stops while McKee logged seven. Alamosa (7-1, 5-0 3A/2A Intermountain a.k.a. Southwestern League) ultimately outshot Bayfield by a 12-8 margin overall, and 9-5 in tries on frame—though not before Lady Wolverine seniors Savannah Kaufmann and Misty Helton managed to put heat on Ramirez early.
“She’s been performing excellently,” Sinn said. “She had some huge saves, and the one goal…it was a mix-up and I’m not sure if she could see the ball or not. But she…got the job done!”
Up next, AHS will host winless Ignacio (0-11, 0-11) on April 19 at 4:00 p.m., while BHS (3-5, 2-2) will visit Montezuma-Cortez on the 20th before traveling to Alamosa the next morning for an 11:00 a.m. rematch.
“A week’s turnaround, and…hopefully it will be another good game!” said Sinn. “We need to work on finding feet better, moving up as a unit and not being ‘segregated’—we have a huge gap in the middle—so…. We’ve still got a ton to work on.”
“We want to win league,” Parkins declared. “We’re ready for Pagosa and Bayfield to come to our place!”