Del Norte junior Emily Gallegos got last Thursday's scoring in Ignacio started in only the second minute, which wasn't surprising, as IHS had allowed a first-minute goal two days before in a 10-0 loss at Bayfield.
What was supremely stunning was how the match more or less ended.
Trailing the Tigers, vastly improved in only their second varsity season, 8-nil late in the second half, the Bobcats desperately needed something positive to show for their work. They had allowed just one goal after intermission on Senior Day at IHS Field.
And in the 72nd minute, they got it. Awarded a free kick just outside the visitors' penalty area after a hand-ball call, senior Andrea Loya drilled a shot past the near side of Del Norte's "wall" of defenders and into the upper corner to outstretched keeper Alex Golding's right.
Dinging the inside edge of the post, just beneath the crossbar, was a perfect extra-credit accent.
"Andrea's one of our strongest players; she's been in there for a while trying to get a goal, and I'm just so happy it finally happened!" head coach Alisha Gullion said. "She's such a support player for everybody else on the field, and for her to finally get her goal, was awesome, such a great feeling."
"It was incredible because it was a pretty far-away kick that she had, and their goalie just didn't get there," said senior Chloe Velasquez. "Andrea placed that ball perfectly!"
"I think the little bit of crying we did-during the Senior Day thing-kind of kicked everybody's butt like, 'Oh wow! It's almost over; we need to start playing like we know how to play!'" she added. "It just takes a little bit of fire under our butts to get it started."
Up next, the 'Cats will travel to DNHS on Friday, May 4, for an 11 a.m. kickoff after a Montezuma-Cortez game on Thursday afternoon. the Bobcats stand 0-13 overall and likewise in the 3A/2A Intermountain (a.k.a. Southwestern) League.
"Our attacking has gotten much stronger, but we're really going to keep working on just moving the ball around and making connecting passes," Gullion said. "Our defense, we've kind of found our 'groove' there; it's time to start working on attacking. Which we have been, and I think that showed this game."
"Usually we've been kind of battling this all year, where they come out sluggish in the first half and then the second half they come out fired up! So, how we can get out there and be fired up at the beginning?"