BHS girls get a No. 12 seed

Steve Lewis/Durango Herald file photo

Jen Zelinski and Bayfield will head to Colorado Springs on Saturday to face Lutheran in the first round of the playoffs in a matchup of the No. 12 and No. 21 seeds.

By Ryan Owens Herald staff writer

For the fifth consecutive year, the Class 3A girls soccer playoffs will include the Bayfield Wolverines.

The Region 5 champion Bayfield High School girls soccer team earned a No. 12 seed and will travel to Colorado Springs to take on No. 21 Lutheran on Saturday.

The top eight seeds in Class 3A host four-team pods, so BHS will travel to the home field of No. 5 St. Mary’s to play Lutheran, then possibly the winner of St. Mary’s and No. 28 Buena Vista.

BHS head coach Jen Zelinski said Bayfield was hoping to get the chance to stay home.

“I feel like the first place team in each league should get to host regardless. ... Regardless, we’re going to get better by playing better teams,” Zelinski said.

The Wolverines went 12-2-1 in 2013 and haven’t lost a game since March 19 at Alamosa. Bayfield finished the regular season on a 10-0-1 streak, the only slight blemish coming in a 2-2 draw with Telluride.

The biggest hurdle staring down the Wolverines is the loss of leading scorer Effie Nistler, who was lost to a knee injury in the season finale against Pagosa Springs. Bayfield will have to find offense from other sources to replace the loss of Nistler’s 19 goals and six assists. Also, second-leading scorer Maddy Duran missed Friday’s game with an ankle injury, adding to the injury woes for BHS.

Lindsey Reinmuth potted seven goals this season for Bayfield, and Meaghan Mooney chipped in six, and it’ll likely be a big group effort to overcome the loss of two quality offensive players.

“Just because they’re not the leading goal scorer doesn’t mean that they can’t be,” Zelinski said. “I think it just gives other girls the opportunity to step up.”

Defense will be important, as well. Bayfield has allowed just 10 goals this season, and the goalkeeping tandem of Charlene Hammit and Andrea Lahoz has combined for 10 shutouts.

Lutheran, located in Parker, finished seventh in Region 6 at 4-5-0 but finished the year with a 10-5-0 overall record. The league’s champion, Peak to Peak, is seeded second.

Bayfield surely will keep an eye on senior Shelby Raper. Raper scored a whopping 34 goals, tops in the state in Class 3A, and racked up 14 assists.

But, Zelinski said, Bayfield is worried more about playing its own game instead of focusing all of its attention on one player. And, so far this season, that’s worked just fine.

“If we play the best that we know we can be, it shouldn’t really matter,” she said.

rowens @durangoherald.com

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