Twenty years ago, while establishing herself to later be a two-time NSCAA/Umbro All-American – as a senior in 1997, her name was listed beneath future U.S. Women’s National Team stars Alyson Wagner (San Jose, Calif./Presentation H.S.) and Mary Abigail ‘Abby’ Wambach (Pittsford, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy) – sophomore Player-of-the-Year Rachel Weber led now-4A Niwot to CHSAA’s first Class 3A Girls’ Soccer State Championship.
On an overcast, rainy May 1 in Telluride, Ignacio concluded its 2015 campaign with an effort which, while recorded as a loss, illustrated how badly the team wanted to be in the maiden Class 2A State Tournament.
In fact, while the Lady Bobcats massed together joyously for one last team photo, one of their heroes in the 6-2 loss grimaced due to a bad back and fought back tears on the bench.
“It all started with the corner kick,” sophomore Tori Archuleta said of her 64th-minute score. “I couldn’t have gotten it if Tristan [Boone] hadn’t chipped it in like she did, and it just went right off my shin guard!”
“It’s a feeling that you can’t describe, especially playing with arthritis and never knowing if you’re going to be able to play again. It’s tough, but my team helped me through it and I love ’em!”
Boone, a junior, received more love from her teammates in the 74th. Whereas Archuleta’s goal was shoved through a crowd within the Lady Miners’ goal box, Boone buried hers on a breakaway in which THS keeper Kenzie Zaumseil – a second-half switch for regular Whitney Wells, put into the field in the hope she would get a goal (which happened in the 60th minute) – was left down on the grass.
The injury was serious enough that paramedics were called and an ambulance was backed onto Judy Long Memorial Field, with Zaumseil – also fighting back problems – at last removed twenty minutes after her failed try at dispossessing Boone. The teams’ 3A/2A Southwestern League match was resumed another six minutes later and nine minutes after that, in the 109th on a running clock, full time was finally whistled.
“The goalie … it sucks what happened; obviously nobody would wish for that,” said Boone. “But it was a great play.”
“Hilda [Garcia, freshman] set it up really well, got it up and I was able to move around the Telluride players. An incredible feeling when you’re alone and are, like, watching the goal and the second you get that goal it’s so exciting!”
In addition to Wells’ second-half score, the Lady Miners (3-7-3, 3-6-3 SWL) also got third- and 62nd-minute goals from Ava Jodlowski, one in the 24th by Taylor Gumble, one in the 27th by Zaumseil and one in the 70th by Mikaela Balkind off a fine double give-and-go with Wells along the right sideline.
“Our whole team is so excited about the two goals and how we played today. We were working together, which sometimes we struggle with, and I just think everyone was super-happy and pumped about how it ended up.”
Fortunately for IHS (0-12, 0-12) only two players are part of the Class of 2015, but defender Sarina Vigil and goalie Krissy Velasquez will indeed be leaving large holes in the rear of skipper Oscar Cosio’s formation.
“It’s been an adventure for me and Sarina,” Velasquez said. Following a 29-save Senior Night effort three days earlier (she made 27 stops at THS) in a 6-0 home loss to Bayfield.
“We’ve been together throughout volleyball and soccer, so it’s a great privilege to play with her. It’s a great honor that I could play with her, Velasquez said,
“We have a good connection with each other, and we know that we have each other’s backs,” Vigil said of her classmate. “We haven’t always had a lot of girls, and that has actually helped us really challenge ourselves to continue to learn everything there is and always get better.”
Looking to the program’s future, Vigil said she was surprised by the number of girls who joined the program this year.
“They were really dedicated, learned really fast. That’s all I can ask for.”
Center, 4-7-1 in league, was awarded a berth into the 2A State Tournament and was the only 2A-Region IV (the postseason designation for the SWL’s 2A half) side chosen for the 12-team title chase. The Lady Vikings, however, lost 2-0 in the first round at Colorado Springs School and finished 5-9-1 overall.
From 3A-Region V, Southwestern champions Alamosa (11-1-0 SWL) defeated Aspen 1-0 in the opening Round of 32, but then lost 4-nil at Englewood Kent Denver and finished 13-3-0. BHS (10-2 SWL), an at-large inclusion, ousted Manitou Springs 1-0, but then lost 6-1 at Broomfield Jefferson Academy to end up 12-4-0.