BAYFIELD - Terry Spriggs turned and looked down the Wolverines' bench.
With his players jumping up and down and screaming, Spriggs smiled.
The Bayfield High School boys soccer coach had just watched the Wolverines battle back and score a late goal against
Class 4A power Palisade.
The scoring play, which included touches by Myles Popke, Hugh Tracy and Al Vitagliano, ended on a quick strike from
Luis Aquino, the Wolverines' foreign-exchange student from Mexico.
His rocket ricocheted off the leg of a Palisade defender cutting the Bulldogs' lead to 5-2 with just 10 minutes to
play in the season opener at Wolverine Country Stadium.
"I saw a lot of what we've been trying to work on," said Spriggs, who commended his team for its effort in the
"We have to learn. That's why we're playing these bigger schools," he said, pointing to an explosive Palisade team
that posted three quick first-half goals.
"We missed two or three chances early. We just couldn't quite hit it," said Spriggs, who encouraged his Wolverines to
tidy up the defense before next week's match with another 4A foe Montezuma-Cortez.
Aquino also had a hand in Bayfield's first goal. His corner kick rose up and curled toward the back post.
"Luis set it up really high, close to the keeper," said senior Shane Marple. "I just knocked it down and volleyed it
in with my right foot."
The goal, Bayfield's first of the season, was the first of Marple's career.
"That was my very first goal; I've been a defender," he said.
Bayfield goalkeeper Jake Cannon had an active day, turning back scores of shots from the attack-minded Bulldogs, who
had 26 in all. The Wolverines countered with 12 shots.
"We still don't have a lot of experience," Spriggs said. "But we did a good job. For some of our defenders, it was
their first time back there."
"This team's got a lot of heart," Marple said. "We're looking to put the pieces together."