Alamosa sophomore forward Tayleur Hillis (6) prepares to strike the ball in what would be the only goal of Tuesday's game with Bayfield.
Photo by Dean Swift
Courier Sports Editor
ALAMOSA—Victories are sweet. They are even sweeter after suffering losses in the previous season that hurt postseason opportunities. If they are even sweeter, Alamosa got a taste on Tuesday night at Al Bennet Field as they defeated last year’s Class 3A Region 5 League champion, the Bayfield Wolverines, by a score of 1-nil.
“This really excites me because last year they won the league,” said Alamosa Head Coach Traci Pitts after Tuesday night’s victory. “This win was huge. I didn’t know how it was going to turn out this morning.”
The win came a couple of days after they absolutely dominated Ridgeway. On Saturday, Alamosa got a 10-0 mercy rule victory over the Demons on Saturday. As several of the Alamosa players remember, a loss to Ridgeway late in last year’s season cost the Lady Moose a trip to the postseason.
In that game, Alamosa took 35 shots, 21 of which were on goal. Senior Blake Faucett led the way as she took eight shots on goal and scored a hat trick with three goals. In addition, Faucett had an assist for a 7-point game. The Moose had three players each contribute two goal, they included sophomore forward Tayleur Hillis, junior Nicole Broyles and freshman Emily Novotny. Freshman Darby Bolt scored a single goal.
“That felt good to mercy rule them and beat them because they beat us last year,” said Hillis. “They kept us out of the playoffs.”
The Moose, who are now 2-1 on the young season, started off the season last Friday when they fell to the Telluride Miners 4-1.
“We had a struggle, it was out first game of the season,” explained Pitts. “Our scrimmage got canceled because of snow. We were working out some kinks in the first half and that’s where they scored four points. We won the second half.”
On Tuesday afternoon, the Moose were geared up and ready to hit the field and the game appeared to be a bitter battle to the end as neither team was able to score any goals. The Moose looked to control the tempo but could not connect on several passes between players.
As the first half was coming to an end, Hillis and Faucett each took shots that appeared to be on goal but at the final second they were wide right and the first half ended with a 0-0 score.
Alamosa came out ready to play in the second half. As the game started to pick up Bolt connected on a pass to Hillis who struck the ball for a goal in the 45th minute.
“Hillis played very well off the ball, played it right and just finished it,” explained Pitts of the goal. “Hillis has grown into herself in a sense where she can read the plays and it is helping her a lot.”
“It felt really good and our team is working really hard,” said Hillis. “Darby and I are working really hard up front and our defense is working so hard in the back to get the ball up to us.”
Coach Pitts commented how good her defense of Amanda Martinez, Ashlee Romero, Elise Tolley and Novotny played.
Neither team was able to score in the final 35 minutes of the second half as the defensive battle continued and the game ended with a 1-0 score.
“I was so excited, I was jumping up and down,” said Hillis of Tuesday’s victory. “This means everything because they killed us last year.”
Alamosa won the shots battle as they took 12 shots in the game, eight of which were on goal. The Bayfield Wolverines took 11 shots but only seven were on goal. For Alamosa, Hillis led the way with three shots on goal while Faucett and Broyles each had two.
“It’s hard because you know you play everyone here and away, it’s good to play at home because of the crowd, the girls play better,” said Pitts.
Alamosa will play two more straight home games including Thursday when they host Dolores Huerta Prep at 4 p.m. at Al Bennett Field. They will then have 12 days off, mainly because of Spring Break, until their next contest. They will play Pagosa Springs, also at Al Bennett field at 4 p.m.
“We are going to be real good and we are going to make the playoffs,” said Hillis of her hopes for the season. “We are still a young team, but we are keeping up with all these other teams.”