Alamosa’s Adrian Raya (12) keeps the ball in play before Bayfield’s Jareth Vega (20) arrives to challenge inside BHS’ Wolverine Country Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 15.
BAYFIELD, Colo. — Alamosa’s Jose Mateo-Andres had just cause to enjoy a celebratory leap and fist-pump late in Saturday’s first half. Mateo-Andres was able to hit a screamer of a running shot over the opposing keeper’s back shoulder with enough pace and bend to not miss the desired ‘upper-90,’
“That goal…we work hard on that shot in practice, and finally he got one to fall,” head coach Cheyenne Sinn said, of her senior co-captain’s 37th-minute highlight. “So that’s what we’re looking for.”
It proved to be more than just a goal.
With hosting Bayfield able to rally after intermission, it proved to be the match-winner.
His side down 3-nil after 40 minutes, Wolverine senior Dylan Doskocil at last got the Wolverines on the scoreboard in the 53rd with a hard free kick from over 30 yards out, and junior Jason Schneider managed to net his own back-post shot in the 70th, low to Mean Moose senior Jon Spangler’s left, but AHS’ first-half work ultimately held up in a one-goal victory inside Wolverine Country Stadium.
“I think we played tough today,” said Sinn. “Back-to-back games are killing us, so playing last night and then coming out and playing a tough team again…I’m happy with the outcome.”
But the skipper knew it could have been even better; unofficially, Alamosa outshot Bayfield 26-8, and sent 17 of those on net compared to BHS’ five. Spangler finished with three saves while counterpart Bailee Blakeslee was forced to make 13, and AHS gained five corners to the locals’ two.
“I think we definitely need to capitalize a little better on the offensive end,” Sinn stated. “Defensively, we’ve just got to clean it up when we’re making switches…find feet, don’t make them chase it—make a good pass.”
An accidental hand-ball against a Wolverine allowed the Moose to initially break the ice, and Mateo-Andres zipped the penalty past Blakeslee’s left hand in the seventh minute. Able to maintain the advantage for most of the half, Alamosa caught a huge break in the 33rd when sophomore Trey Crowther managed to track down Bayfield freshman Tristan French from behind and prevent a breakaway scoring chance.
Rapidly pushing the ball towards the other end on the counterattack, a BHS foul gave a free kick to AHS in the 34th from about 19 yards out, and senior co-captain Darrin Rodriguez wrapped his try perfectly around a wall of multiple Wolverines and past Blakeslee’s outstretched left hand for a 2-0 lead.
With the loss, Bayfield dropped to 1-5 overall, 1-1 in the 3A Southwestern (a.k.a. Intermountain) League and 1-4 against all 3A/2A SWL opposition, while Alamosa—coming in off a 3-0 win at Montezuma-Cortez the afternoon before—improved their respective marks to 6-4, 4-0, 4-3.
Up next, AHS will travel to Gunnison High School this Friday, Sept. 21, for a neutral-site rematch (kickoff at 7:00 p.m.) with Crested Butte Community School. The Miners pulled out a true squeaker in Alamosa back on Sept. 1 when junior Chris Myers converted an assist from junior Carlos Franco into the winning goal.
“Should be another good match; we’d lost to them with 47 seconds left in double-overtime, so I’m looking forward to it,” said Sinn. “We’re ten games in, we’ve played back-to-backs, we’ve had four overtimes already…. So we’re tired but we have a week off, so that’s good!”
After a 1-0 home win over Telluride—ranked #1 in the CHSAANow.com Class 2A poll at the time—on Friday, Sept. 14, the Titans (who’d been No. 3) stand 7-1-2 overall, 1-0-1 against the league’s 2A sides, and 7-0-1 against all circuit resistance.