Thu Mar 30th, 2017
Special to the Drum
Following the March 16 season-opener at Montezuma-Cortez, which ended early with squad newcomer Santana Edd being wheeled off Johnson Field with extra care focused on her head/neck region after an unfortunate 70th-minute collision, new Ignacio head coach Daniel Sanchez was still upbeat about his team’s effort.
“I was really happy with the heart they showed; they really tried their hardest and gave it their best,” he’d said following the 5-0 loss, which could have been much more severe. “I was really happy that they kept them down for most of the game, and so I expect better things as the year goes on.”
And even in a 9-nil loss at precise-passing Pagosa Springs five days later, there was still optimism – stemming from the fact that without a few players, injured both before and during the action, IHS again avoided a mercy-rule fate – present within the team’s bench area and post-match huddle.
“We’ve got a lot of things to clean up, but I’m really happy with what I see so far,” said Sanchez. “We’ve got to create some more scoring opportunities. And learn how to score; that’s the next step.”
In that regard, an uphill stride which may require ropes and crampons.
Eager to welcome Telluride to IHS Field for the Lady Bobcats’ March 24 home unveiling, it didn’t take Sanchez long to size up the likelihood of even getting near the visitors’ net.
“I saw them warming up, and I was like, ‘Uh-oh,’” Sanchez quipped afterwards, quickly running out of words to assess a 10-nil loss to the 3A/2A Intermountain League’s lone rep in last spring’s Class 2A State Playoffs.
Eight different Lady Miners scored one goal including freshman Samantha Morrell, whose first-minute marker held up as the match-winner.
Senior standout Kenzie Zaumseil netted in the 32nd for a 6-0 lead at halftime, then struck again in the 55th to increase the lead to 8-nil, and sophomore Rubie deLuca converted classmate Claudia Betz’s 62nd-minute pass to bring about an early end to the afternoon with neither senior Whitney Wells (first half) nor freshman Claire Shaver (second half) having faced an Ignacio shot.
Sophomore Lanie Webb, who’d robbed PSHS senior star Hayley Mitchell on a 35th-minute penalty kick, made 15 total saves for IHS in defeat, as THS put 29 of their 48 total tries on frame.
Known for firing shots in bunches, Ridgway visited the Pine River Valley the next morning and prevailed 7-0. Senior Emma Gould and junior Emma Haaland each scored twice, and sophomores Caitlin Sanchez, Faith Kinne and Finn Doherty each booked one as the Lady Demons improved to 3-2 overall, 3-1 versus the full league.
The Lady Cats (0-4, 0-4) will next travel east on April 4 to face a brand-new IML member: Del Norte. The Lady Tigers were off to an 0-3, 0-1 start prior to hosting Leadville Lake County on March 31 in their last outing before hosting IHS.
Ignacio will then return to the San Luis Valley on April 7 to meet fellow circuit newcomer Crested Butte Community School – winless as of Monday, Mar. 27, after by all accounts going 6-3-2 overall (including a home/away sweep of RHS) in their 2016 ‘preview’ campaign – in Center at 4 p.m., then remain in the area to battle longtime nemesis CHS at 11 the next morning.
Ignacio’s 4/26 home match versus Bayfield has been re-set for a 6 p.m. kickoff.