Besides reinforcing her squad’s eagerness to finally play on its home field for the first time in 2019, Bayfield High School girls soccer head coach Jen Moore ended practice Wednesday redistributing jerseys as though the campaign was starting anew.
“I kind of feel like it’s Day 1 again because it’s been so long since our last game,” she said. “We’re starting all over, so we’ll see what happens.”
Standing 1-2 overall, the Wolverines will not only play before their home crowd at 4 p.m. Friday – their scheduled March 12 home match versus Pagosa Springs was postponed because of heavy but since-vanished snow – but also at last face an opponent from the 3A/2A Southwestern League in Del Norte.
“They’re super excited, can’t wait,” Moore said of her players, who last saw game action in a 7-1 loss at less-wintry Manitou Springs back on March 16. “They’ve been waiting for a month now, and now we have one more month of season and it’s game, game, game, game, game. So, I think they’re excited to play at home and hopefully that momentum carries us through.”
Able to battle emerging SWL force Crested Butte to a 0-0 draw Wednesday evening at neutral Alamosa High School, Del Norte will enter Wolverine Country Stadium 3-1-2 overall and in league after posting a 12-5-0 final record, including a 3-0 win over Colorado Springs School in the Class 2A state tournament’s opening round a year ago. Crested Butte, meanwhile, reached the semifinals last spring.
Having graduated just two seniors from that roster, Del Norte could be formidable, and Moore indicated her team, which lost just three but remains quite young, would drill accordingly in Thursday’s preparations.
“I’m not quite sure we’re in shape yet. Actually, I’m sure we’re not in shape yet because we just had spring break,” she said. “But I’m looking forward to this game. I have no idea really what to expect out of Del Norte; they’ve played some of our opponents (from) last year and I think they did pretty well. I also know they have really good numbers, so we’ll get the chance to play varsity and JV.”
Numbers at BHS are also solid, but Moore noted that commitment has been an unexpected obstacle and one which could prove problematic against not only Del Norte but upcoming opponents such as Pagosa Springs, which Bayfield is slated to visit next at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
So far this season, BHS has netted seven goals and surrendered 11, and offensive weapon Halle Loveday will likely miss the Del Norte match with an ailing left shoulder covered Wednesday by a brace.
“That hurts for sure,” said Moore, her unintended pun quite apt given the circumstances, “but we’ve got a lot of girls that can play, and we have some depth, so these young girls are going to get some playing time.
“We’re probably just going to play a 4-4-2 and try to figure out, you know, those last-minute things we need to fix.”