Moffat County soccer takes it to overtime in final home game
Bulldog goalie fulfills high school career objective with penalty kick goal
For Hannah Walker, a single moment Tuesday may have been the most memorable of her four years of sports at Moffat County High School.
After all, how many times does a goalie get to score on another goalie?
The MCHS girls soccer team finished its final home game with a 3-2 defeat against Rifle, a match that went into overtime and proved to be one of its finest outings of the season.
The team’s final game of the year was originally to be a Thursday home game against Colorado Rocky Mountain School, but another schedule conflict changed it to Wednesday on the road for the Bulldogs, which moved up the Senior Day festivities as the team said farewell to Walker, Jennifer Aguirre and Wendy Gomez.
And, though there were some tears in the halftime ceremony, the girls in white were also pepped up, thanks to the 1-0 lead they possessed.
A highly communicative Bulldog effort kept the first half going its way, both side given several free kick attempts.
A boot by Sydni Tripp was unable to find net, but minutes later a long, direct kick off the toe of Kaylynn Haefs got the Bulldogs its first score midway through the opening half. Haefs took the next opportunity as well but Rifle keeper Alexa Williams was ready this time to snag it.
Both the Bulldogs and Bears came out of halftime determined to get the late season win, but Rifle’s tactic of swarming the box paid off, as its first goal came minutes after the whistle as a result of the ball bouncing into the net off a bundle of bodies composed of both teams.
The Bears took the lead quickly afterward, as Jessica Bracamontes blasted one past Walker with pinpoint precision to move to 2-1.
Moffat County stayed aggressive on offense, a tactic that proved painful for some. While on the approach, Jackie Barazza and Sadea Reidhead turned on the jets to beat Williams to the ball. The Rifle goalie, unable to pick it up, instead booted it right at Barazza who deflected the ball with her face and nearly gave Reidhead the chance to shoot on an open goal, though she was unable to find the right angle.
Barazza left the game only momentarily but was right back in the action, as Bulldogs stuck to its guns to go out at home with a victory.
It wasn’t until a Moffat County corner kick late in the game that earned Rifle a hand ball charge and awarded a penalty kick to the Bullogs, Walker sprinting in from her usual position to take it.
The senior made the most of the rare opportunity and knocked it straight into the corner past her fellow goalie to cross off something she’s had on her to-do list since she started high school soccer.
“It only took me four years,” she laughed. “I just wanted to score once.”
The game went into extra minutes tied at 2, but the Bears only needed about 30 seconds, as Cindy Pelaez sent a high shot over Walker’s reach for the win.
Rifle coach Rich Carter said, judging from what he saw of MCHS girls, the Bulldogs will be more of a threat next season.
“It was tough, and they’re a young team from what I can tell, I think they’re going to be great,” he said. “There was a lot of pressure, and neither team really wanted to leave the game.”
The Bears hold a 4-9-1 overall record heading into its final event, a non-league game Thursday against Summit County in Frisco.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are 0-14, leading to Wednesday’s game with the Oysters.
Though a “W” would have been nice to add in her final game as a Bulldog — she won’t be able to attend the CRMS game — Walker said it was still an unforgettable outing.
“We just wanted to come together have fun, it was more about having fun,” she said. “Win or lose, we’re family, and it was nice to go out with them.”
Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.
The coming week in sports for Craig and Moffat County.