Seemingly "borne back ceaselessly into the past," a la F. Scott Fitzgerald's "boats against the current" in The Great Gatsby, by a wicked northerly wind, the Bayfield girls' soccer team failed to manage a shot after halftime last Friday, but still managed to keep visiting Alamosa honest enough to know that a 2-1 lead wasn't all that safe.
"Knowing we were going against the wind, we worked together as a team.really pushed and talked," said junior Caibri Schaefer. "It was a little difficult - with the wind going against us it was hard to breathe - but we worked through it, and it showed out there; we did OK."
And with Mother Nature at their backs before intermission, the Wolverines were better than OK, limiting AHS to just two tries on goalie Lana McKee while taking a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute via freshman Halle Loveday's 12-yarder past Mean Moose keeper Ashley Ramirez.
So even when the guests benefited from the gusts in the second half, they were keen to remember they were in enemy territory and alertly kept anywhere from three to five defenders back to shield Ramirez from BHS rushes by Savannah Kaufmann and Misty Helton.
"You know, we want to play (with) the wind, but at the same time we had attacks in the first half," said Alamosa head coach Cheyenne Sinn. "And so we didn't count on them to not have attacks in the second half."
"It was nice to know we were still in it, that they didn't blow us out of the water," Loveday said.
The Moose equalized in the 50th minute, when senior Alana Hackett's right-footed corner kick, taken from McKee's right, not only curled towards teammates but gained some extra bend in the breeze, deflected off a BHS player, and skidded into the net at McKee's far post.
Chaos and clutter in front of McKee resulted in AHS' winning score in the 61st. Katie Parkins, effectively contained by Bayfield defenders Tayler Ludwig and Sarah Ruybal during the first half, more or less forced the ball into the net, with a little assist from Mother Nature.
"We had the wind, and it, like, bounced over the goalie and I followed.just kind of 'tackled' it into the goal, because I saw a girl coming," she said, happy to have atoned for a missed penalty kick, shot high and off McKee's crossbar, in the 49th.
"I kind of ran into the ball and it went right in - it worked out!"
"The wind was terrible!" she stated, laughing at how it rerouted, if not arrested completely, almost anything aerial and northbound inside Wolverine Country Stadium, a situation wholly possible, if not to be expected out in the San Luis Valley when the sides square off again this Saturday, April 21, at 11 a.m.
"We've just got to keep pushing, keep communicating out there," said Schaefer. "Really, just keep fighting even if the weather conditions aren't so good."
"Getting our passes to connect up front, that's really important," Loveday said. "And getting back on defense; a lot of times we just don't step to people in front."
Standing 3-5 overall, 2-2 against the full 3A/2A Intermountain (a.k.a. Southwestern) League after the loss, Bayfield will first visit Montezuma-Cortez on Friday for a 4 p.m. kickoff. The struggling Panthers were 2-7, 2-7 prior to this week's home match versus Pagosa Springs (4-5, 4-2).
Bumped into the top 'Others Receiving Votes' spot in the latest CHSAANow.com Class 3A rankings-released Monday, April 16-by their road victory, Alamosa (7-1, 5-0) was to next hosted 2A Ignacio (0-11, 0-11) at 4 p.m. Thursday. Results were unavailable at press time.