DEL NORTE Playing the final 20 minutes of their season Friday, May 4, at Del Norte in the same aggressive manner as they'd played the last 20 minutes the previous afternoon at Montezuma-Cortez would likely have been pleasing enough to Ignacio head coach Alisha Gullion.
The fact that senior Chamisa Edd's 67th-minute rush at DNHS goalie Alex Golding resulted in a goal by freshman Abbi Barthel thrilled the coach, as well.
"I was really hoping she would get one of her own, but I think she was just happy to help her team out," said Gullion. "Chamisa's always been a wonderful player. She's one of those players where I can put her anywhere on the field and she's going to do a wonderful job."
And it only motivated each Bobcat to do her job even better, ultimately resulting in a collective effort the program, already energized by having scored in a third consecutive contest, had not seen in years.
Barthel struck again just five minutes later, and junior Lauren Gram followed with a third unanswered goal in the 76th (she'd also scored in the 76th at M-CHS) for her team-leading third goal this spring.
"That was my first-ever goals," said Barthel, "and to have two is just amazing. When I'm inside those lines, nothing matters, leave all emotions on the sideline. I just thought about the ball, where it was at, and it, just kind of happened. It clicked."
"I mean, I don't think we've scored three goals in a game, back-to-back-to-back!"
A fourth nearly materialized in the closing minutes, as Ignacio worked for four consecutive Andrea Loya corner kicks before time expired, allowing the Tigers to hang onto an 8-3 Senior Day win.
Sophomore standout Kendra Parra scored four first-half goals as DNHS overcame a relatively slow start, going into intermission leading 7-nil.
"I saw things on the field that we have been practicing all season!" beamed Gullion. "The first 15 minutes of the game, they showed me that they have been learning, that they have built a foundation."
"I am so incredibly proud of them!" she continued. "They did such an awesome job and next year we're just going to capitalize on that. t's sad to see our seniors go, of course, they definitely have been leaders of our team, but we have such an amazing group of girls and I'm so excited to do this again next year."
"We're putting our heart and soul out," declared Barthel. "We want to win, and to prove to Ignacio that we're getting there. We've got the foundation now, but it's the end of the season, so next year we're going to start a little earlier, get that foundation earlier to get here, hopefully achieve a win!"
Factoring in an 8-1 loss at Montezuma-Cortez, Ignacio finished 0-15 overall in 2018, 0-15 against all 3A/2A Southwestern (a.k.a. Intermountain) League opposition, and 0-10 versus its 2A members.
Having improved their respective marks to 11-4, 7-3, and 5-2, Del Norte qualified for the CHSAA Class 2A State Tournament as the bracket's #6 seed.