It was quite a way to wrap up work before starting spring break.
But when the moment at last arrived, Ignacio assistant coach Tabitha Nickerson admittedly was ready to do what she then had to do: Instruct, plot and scheme against the program in which she came up.
"When that whistle blows," the Bayfield grad said, "they're the enemy."
"To be honest, it wasn't hard to cheer for my team," she said afterwards. "Before the game I was like, 'I know half these girls wearing purple today!' And that was a little awkward, but really it was seeing girls I've known since they were three years old falling down and.. 'Come on! Don't hurt them!'"
And there indeed was one of those incidents, that of BHS sophomore sweeper-turned-striker Bryannah Isiordia's 55th-minute collision with sliding IHS goalkeeper Krissy Velasquez, resulting in the Lady Wolverine's exit from IHS Field due to a wounded-the word 'pop' was overheard-left leg.
Senior defender Grace Harvey had just netted Bayfield's sixth and last goal of the March 28 match in the 54th, as BHS improved to 6-0 overall, 5-0 in the 3A Southwestern with their fifth straight shutout.
"I think this [Bayfield-Ignacio] game was particularly exciting," said BHS junior Meaghan Mooney, "because we had six different girls have six different goals. It was another chance for us to show that we're.working together and coming out strong!"
"I think it made us feel like.ten times better about this season," added sophomore Brianna Martinez, whose eighth-minute goal was disallowed due to an offsides violation, but whose marker in the 10th got the scoring started. "This is amazing; I'm really proud of my team."
Mooney broke through to score in the 17th, but was stoned by Velasquez in the 32nd on one of the shortest indirect kicks-placed and taken hardly eight yards from goal-yet witnessed at the venue.
But the momentum was short-lived; in the 34th minute Australian exchange sophomore Kate Brennan booked Bayfield's third goal, and soph Maddy Duran followed in the 36th with the fourth-a perfect free kick over a multi-player wall for the imposing lead at intermission.
"Oh I was so relieved!" Brennan said of her first varsity [she'd had a couple previously in JV play] goal in the States. "Like, I've been in heaps of pain lately and to finally be able to actually play-and do something beneficial to the team-was just absolutely amazing."
Coming up big for Ignacio (0-4, 0-4), Velasquez finished the match with 19 total stops unofficially, as Bayfield fired 31 shots (22 on frame) as opposed to IHS' two (one on frame), and out-cornered the Lady 'Cats by an official 7:1 ratio.
But shortly after play resumed there was one shot which the developing junior had little chance. After being fouled from behind by IHS senior Roshae Weaver, BHS junior Andrea Zelinski buried a penalty kick in the 44th to all but polish off the road win.
The Lady Bobcats' best opportunity to test Lady Wolverine freshman goalie Kailee Millard (2 total saves) came in the 23rd minute. But after Ignacio gained their only corner, senior Cheyenne Cook's shot went harmlessly into the side netting as Millard left no daylight peeking through the near post.
"The second half we definitely had more power, but the first half.we just had chances and we had the ball up [in the attack]," said Ignacio sophomore midfielder Tristan Boone. "A lot of the times we just didn't switch fields, which would have given us perfect shots."
IHS is slated to resume play, post-break, April 8 (4 p.m. start) on Alamosa's artificial surface, and then return to host Ridgway at 11 a.m. April 12.
"I think our offense is getting better-we're definitely getting more action down the field. Defense.is stronger; we're not letting [other teams] score as much," Nickerson said. "And I'm just really liking the way the team is meshing; we're talking to each other, and we're improving."
Meanwhile, BHS will host 4A Montezuma-Cortez on the April 8, travel to meet 4A Durango's JV on April 10, and then get back into SWL play at Center on the 15th.
"Definitely we have a lot of confidence with the shutouts," Mooney stated. "But I think we also have to keep a level head and remember that we can have a bad game-anyone can have a bad game! We need to remember to work together, be a team and-if we work as a team - we're pretty much unbeatable."