Ignacio's Gabriela Garcia (5)
Ignacio's Shannon Mestas (9)
Ignacio's Tori Archuleta (7)
Ignacio's Gabriela Garcia (5) accelerates after gaining possession from Ridgway's Hunter Clapsadl (3), April 12 at IHS Field.
Ignacio's Shannon Mestas (9) booms a clearance away from Ridgway's Grace Benasutti (22), April 12 at IHS Field.
With teammate Becca Ward (15) and Ridgway's McKinley Mueller (18) both already seeing its whereabouts, Ignacio's Tori Archuleta (7) looks back to spot the ball April 12 at IHS Field.
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Thumbnail image of Ignacio's Gabriela Garcia (5)
Thumbnail image of Ignacio's Shannon Mestas (9)
Thumbnail image of Ignacio's Tori Archuleta (7)

Lady Cats do work against Ridgway

Some say there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing.

And Ignacio Soccer head coach Oscar Cosio likely wouldn’t mind seeing his Lady Bobcats score as many goals as possible – he definitely didn’t mind seeing his team battle Ridgway for 97.5% of their April 12 home match just to generate a hard-earned one – during 3A Southwestern League action.

“I was so excited!” senior Becca Ward exclaimed afterwards, of her 78th-minute marker – IHS’ second in as many outings, after sophomore Tristan Boone’s score in a 9-1 loss at Alamosa four days before.  “It’s my first goal ever!”

“We got a goal, and that’s always good for these girls,” Cosio said.  “Uplifts everyone’s spirits.”

The only problem was, 2.5% worth of Saturday-afternoon work still remained.

And rather than pressing harder for a miraculous rally—RHS’ lead was just 3 to 1—the ladies appeared fully satisfied … and allowed the visitors to convert, relatively easily, twice within the last minutes of regulation and two additional of stoppage-time.

“That last three minutes, we … didn’t do our best,” senior Shannon Mestas said.

“There’s two words that come to mind today: Unlucky, and frustrating,” said Cosio.  “All of a sudden I think all we were thinking about wasthe goal, and that’s when the ‘frustrating’ part came in.  We had breakdowns on defense, they came back and got two on us.”

“The ‘unlucky’ part was obviously the handball, and then the own-goal that we had in the first [half] … because we were playing so well.  We’ve been working a lot on possession and creating opportunities, and it showed today,” Cosio said.

Indeed, after Lady Demon senior Grace Benasutti cashed a 12th-minute penalty kick – resulting from a handball infraction against IHS senior Gabriela Garcia – the Cats went on an earnest mission to equalize, and nearly did so in the 26th and again in the 28th.

Aiming for the near upper-90 over RHS freshman Saren Robinson, Boone’s near-miss blast into the side netting was the latter; freshman Shyla Jackson’s chance the former, and possibly the better.

Confusion had ensued in front of Robinson, and the ball rolled free to Jackson, facing a mostly-vacant net.  Her shot, however, unfortunately deflected off a teammate and Ridgway were able to clear.  And later capitalize in the 39th, when senior Leta McNatt’s corner kick bounced off a white jersey and past Ignacio goalie Krissy Velasquez (14 total saves) for a 2-0 halftime lead.

“Krissy, once again, battled in there; we take away those two [late] goals, and the penalty kick, and it’s a different ball game,” said Cosio.  “But two young …. inexperienced teams, it’s going to come down to the mental and … stuff like that.”

“That first half … I think the only reason they got those goals was because of mess-ups on our behalf, like the corner kick,” Mestas said.  “But … this is probably one of the best games we’ve played; we battled, we stayed out there.”

“I know we scored against Alamosa, but I don’t know … it was just different,” agreed Ward.  “We played better the whole game.”

Sophomore Sarah Pankow netted the Lady Demons’ third goal by knocking in a McNatt shot which escaped Velasquez’s initial stop in the 49th, and she’d score again in the 80th.  Junior Chiara Degenhardt then followed up on an 82nd-minute rush by senior Rachael Pankow, and the often-physical match was whistled complete in the 83rd.

“They battled – on both sides,” Cosio said.  “We had one yellow card [Jackson, 71st minute, collision with RHS substitute goalie Alexis Dimpault-Darcy], but both teams were really battling out there, being very aggressive.  I’m proud of those girls.”

Ignacio (0-6, 0-6 SWL) managed six total shots, two on frame, and also earned three corners. Ridgway (2-5, 2-5) registered respective figures of 24, 14, and 8.


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