Revenge, it's been said, is a dish best served cold.
Fund-raising dinners, like those put on by Bayfield High School Girls' Soccer following their home match Tuesday, May 1, are most definitely enjoyed at their warmest.
And it's likely no player savored the flavor more than Lana McKee.
Seeing just two total Montezuma-Cortez shots take flight, only one required saving. Had the visitors been able to position some traffic between shooter McKenzy Howerton and BHS' sophomore goalkeeper, its trajectory might have been tougher to track, but McKee saw the right-footed attempt, leapt, and made the catch before the ball bulls-eyed the corner over her right shoulder. The save preserved a 2-0 lead and ultimately a 2-0 shutout.
"We played hard, battled through, so I'm proud of the girls," first-year M-CHS head coach Sam Edgerton said. "They had great persistence.didn't make it easy, even though they had the subs, had the upper hand."
Coming just a few days after a 6-1 rout of Ridgway on April 27 and a clutch 4-2 win over Telluride the next morning, the Senior Day victory over M-CHS was the Wolverines' fourth straight, giving the squad essential momentum going into their regular-season finale this Saturday, May 5, in Gunnison against Crested Butte.
"We need to come out ready to play; and so far we've been playing a little bit better on the road than we have been at home," said Bayfield boss Jen Moore. "So hopefully they'll play well this weekend!"
Shocked Tuesday in overtime, 3-2 by Del Norte, the vaunted Crested Butte Titans (11-2, 10-2 3A/2A Intermountain as of May 2) will have hosted Pagosa Springs the day before. Moore will keep an eye on the match, as it could impact postseason placement (BHS and PSHS each went 3-3 against the circuit's 3A members this year).
"To make it easy, I think Pagosa needs to lose to 'em, we need to beat 'em, you know?" Moore said. "Crested Butte, they've beat Ridgway and Telluride, so I definitely think we're capable."
"This game was a little closer than I thought it was going to be," she continued, referring to Cortez, "but when they shut down Savannah like that-double-teaming her-it's tough for anybody. So they did a good job defensively."
Savannah Kaufmann, who actually rolled a 20th-minute penalty kick wide left of M-CHS goalie Elena Cosner, and fellow seniors Sophie Turner and Misty Helton had no intentions of losing their final match played inside Wolverine Country Stadium.
BHS dominated play during a scoreless first half, and shook off a questionable yellow card shown to Turner in the 55th, BHS broke through in the 61st when freshman Madison Wells cleaned up a deflected Kaufmann shot, put low on a kneeling Cosner from point-blank range.
Hardly two minutes later, the home side struck again. Kaufmann pushed the ball deep into the Montezuma-Cortez end, all the way to the end line in fact, before trying a crossing pass. Intended recipient Halle Loveday was unable to one-time the ball on frame, but fortunately did not slow its pace in any way.
Running parallel to Loveday en route to the goal, but about seven yards behind her from Kaufmann's perspective, Helton met the ball in stride, slammed her right foot into it and lined it past Cosner's right side for the insurance score.
"We came out, controlled the game, and we just need to take more shots in order to get the goals sooner," said Moore, whose side unofficially outshot M-CHS 27-2 overall (15-1 on frame). "I think we have the talent to shoot, but the girls are just very unselfish right now. I'm actually going to ask them to be a little bit more selfish!"
"They're really coming together, starting to pass the ball well, I couldn't be happier!" she added. "They're peaking when they should be: At the end of the season, right when we want them to."
Gaining four corner kicks to the guests' zero, Bayfield improved to 8-6 overall, 7-3 against the combined IML. Injury-ravaged Montezuma-Cortez, which had only one substitute available, fell to 2-13 overall, 2-13 in league (0-6 versus its 3A crews) going into their May 3 season-ending home match versus Ignacio.
"At this stage of the game," Edgerton said, "we're just trying to recoup and work through this summer, hopefully build up our numbers and come back stronger!"
TERRIFIC TRIO: Helton's score gave Bayfield's senior class a combined 33 goals to date this spring.
"Small but mighty!" Moore said of the honored three. "They're a great group of girls-very different leaders, very good leaders. (Returning players) have big shoes to fill next year. I'm definitely going to miss them, but hopefully we can keep going and get a little playoff run in here for them!"