Zero, zip, nada: BHS soccer blanks perennial powers

Friday, March 28, 2014 1:24 PM
Bayfield's Meaghan Mooney wheels away from a Telluride defender, right in view of Lady Miner coach Lanier Nelson (left), during last Saturday's 1-0 home win.

Everybody's probably heard of, or used, the phrase "six degrees of separation."

More than that separated last Friday's ending temperature from its start. About that many saved the Lady Wolverines their first of what ended up being three consecutive Southwestern League shutouts at home, by the time Tuesday's 4-0 defeat of Pagosa Springs was finalized.

"I definitely think we work hard.get in shape," said senior defender Grace Harvey, following last Saturday's 1-0 thriller over Telluride. "But then it also comes from the heart. And I think we're good at that-when your body can't handle anymore, you play from the heart, say 'We know we can win.' We keep working play as a team, and feed off each other's good attitudes."

Sophomore midfielder Maddy Duran exploded for five goals-two versus Ridgway and PSHS, and the 45th-minute winner versus THS-during the crucial stretch at Wolverine Country Stadium. Junior forward Meaghan Mooney netted three (two versus Springs, one versus RHS) in helping Bayfield improve to 5-0 overall (4-0 SWL) prior to this afternoon's 4 p.m. start at Ignacio. The Bobcat girls are still winless this season.

"I definitely wanted to score more than one goal," Duran said after the middle match, in hindsight previewing her upcoming pair against the Lady Pirates. "But at least we pulled out the win! Everybody was really working their hardest; we were definitely pretty tired, but we were able to hold them off."

And that task truly began when Ridgway senior Leta McNatt, from about 21 yards out, fortunately hooked a 77th-minute free kick off the upper-90 over freshman goalie Kailee Millard's right shoulder.

Not caught off-guard again, Millard then assured BHS a clean sheet the next morning with a spectacular leaping punch save of Lady Miner freshman Kenzie Zaumseil's 50th-minute freebie. It was taken from nearly the exact spot outside the penalty area as McNatt's. Former Bayfield Soccer standout backstops Jaylie Ross and James Young (Spring Break-ing from University of Northern Colorado and Galesburg, Ill.-based Knox College, respectively) watched from Coach Jennifer Zelinski's bench, no less.

"Kailee's working her butt off.hard," declared Harvey, "to make sure nothing gets in that goal!"

Millard needed to make just three stops against RHS and only two against THS, though she caught another break when senior Karla Martinez's 31st-minute rocket clanged off the frame overhead.

Even more impressive, though, was the fact that the Lady Wolverines put the screws to a surprised Telluride immediately, gaining six corner kicks in the match's opening nine minutes (and ultimately finishing with a 9-2 lead in that category).

"We're really trying to play as a team, and make sure that everybody's getting a good touch on the ball," Duran said. "And taking the best shots we can!"

"We had a good passing game and we took the shots," agreed senior defender and set-piece specialist Jaida Ross, "but we need to work on getting something on the ball during crosses. We could have scored more.could have had more of an advantage, but it didn't work out that way."

In the 29th minute against the Lady Demons, senior Rickie Baker scored Bayfield's other goal of the three contests, but injured a knee in the 73rd against the Lady Miners and was fitted with a large ice bag. Telluride's Whitney Wells made a media-counted 11 total saves, and Ridgway's Saren Robinson 17 as BHS booted a combined 38 shots (27 on goal) at the two freshmen.

Full statistics from the win over Pagosa Springs were unavailable, though it was also reported that junior midfielder Andrea Zelinski received two assists in helping regularly pressure Lady Pirate junior keeper Maria Campuzano. Bayfield is now a "Receiving Votes" team in the Class 3A rankings from March 24.