“Our general attitude now is that one win isn’t the end of our season,” Ignacio head coach Alisha Gullion stated after Wednesday night’s weather-whipped practice. “We still have a long way to go and a lot more to do.”
Effectively put by the skipper, the Ignacio High School girls soccer 2019 campaign is more or less starting anew with revitalized players psyched to run onto their home pitch Friday afternoon for their first outing since last Saturday’s well-documented 2-1 triumph at Center, the program’s first win in nearly seven full years.
With a couple of strong performances also during the last week to their credit, Ignacio’s opponent will arrive for the recently-advanced 1 p.m. kickoff just as hungry not to become the Bobcats’ next victim.
“I know that Del Norte took Crested Butte on,” said Gullion, alluding to the Tigers’ scoreless draw April 3 against the vaunted Titans, “and so we’re just going to go out there and play our game. We’re going to fight really hard like we always do and give it everything we have.
“We were out fighting the wind, the snow and everything else weird that was happening today, but we had a really good practice. Our program, we’re taking steps each season. Last season, we got our first couple goals. This season, we got our first win, and so we’re taking steps.”
And a strong showing against Del Norte, which followed up their battle with Crested Butte by stunning Bayfield last Friday inside Wolverine Country Stadium but then losing to Montezuma-Cortez the next morning back in the San Luis Valley, would definitely be a major step into Saturday’s 11 a.m. start at Montezuma-Cortez.
Keep in mind that Ignacio sewed up their 2018 schedule with an 8-1 loss at Montezuma-Cortez then an 8-3 loss the next morning at Del Norte, performances in which the Bobcats hinted at this year’s potential with motivated, goal-producing play after intermission.
And though that pleased the boss, she said she wants to see such intensity show itself much sooner, particularly against Del Norte, which improved to 5-2-2 overall while remaining 4-2-2 against the full 3A/2A Southwestern and 3-1-2 against its 2A members. Del Norte is prepared to face IHS (1-3, 1-3, 1-2) after blasting 3A Tri-Peaks West reps Buena Vista 6-0 on Tuesday.
“My goal is that we come out more of a first-half team; we come out strong instead of waiting until the second half to kind of hit our rhythm,” Gullion said. “That’s really what we’re working on right now.
“They’re definitely excited to take on Cortez, and I hope that winning that (Center) game is going to take more pressure off.”
Injuries and ailments, however, will pressure Gullion and assistants Jessica Bassett and Beau Brooks to modify their plans for each of this weekend’s matches.
“We have a handful of girls out right now, so it’s going to be interesting,” said Gullion. “We’re not going to have our complete starting lineup on Friday or Saturday due to injuries and this, like, stomach bug that’s going around. So, we’re just going to do the best with what we’ve got.”