She should have celebrated a perfect shot.
But after curling a right-footed ball over goalkeeper Rylee Pearson and into the far upper corner, Crested Butte Community School's Zoe Eymere stood still. And silent except for one phrase quite humorous to say, considering the quality of goal she'd just scored:
"I didn't mean to."
Having ended the teams' wintry April 6 match-played at Gunnison High School-in roughly the 65th minute via the 10-goal mercy rule, Eymere actually did the Bobcats a solid by allowing them to begin focusing on not one, but two long-anticipated matches the next morning at Center about 15 minutes sooner.
And IHS' eagerness paid off. Not with a win, unfortunately, but with their best overall efforts yet in 2018 in dual 1-0 losses to the Center Vikings.
"It was a lot of back and forth on both sides," said IHS head coach Alisha Gullion. "We came so close to scoring but we just couldn't get it in the goal. In the last 40 seconds of the second game, Christina Jenkins had a breakaway, took a shot, and missed by probably only three inches."
"The first game we held them 0-0 all through the first half," she noted. "It wasn't until about 15 minutes remaining in the second that Center got a goal in. It was very similar in the second game, held them 0-0 'til probably the last 10."
Unavailable for the loss to the #5-ranked Crested Butte (6-1, 6-1 3A/2A Intermountain), RaeAnn Martinez returned to stabilize Ignacio (0-11, 0-11) in the back third against Center (2-6, 2-5). Pearson, however, played comparatively well in her absence, unofficially logging 14 total saves, including one denying a first-half penalty kick, in her debut at the position.
"They were some good games," Gullion said. "The girls were fired up, really wanted to pull off a win, but I think those games will boost their confidence. I am very happy with the progress they are making, and I think they are as well."
Able to take some time off from competition, recharge and refine, IHS will next see action at 4 p.m. April 19, when the team kicks off in Alamosa.