Tested but once and likely growing more restless each minute Monday afternoon, goalkeeper Paige Yarbrough was given a chance to take a more active role.
And wasted almost no time capitalizing.
Having seen enough from his squad, looking to defeat Ignacio for a second time in three days and thus sew up a home-and-home sweep, Montezuma-Cortez head coach Dawson Emrich swapped netminders in the 65th minute – putting senior Elena Cosner in net and putting a field player’s shirt on the sophomore Yarbrough.
That exchange took barely 45 seconds.
About 90 seconds later, the match was called off, with Yarbrough hustling the ball down the left side of the attack, slotting a 67th-minute shot past Lady Bobcat goalie Rylee Pearson, and securing a 10-0 shutout at IHS Field.
“Yeah, that was great,” said a grinning Emrich, appreciating the goalie-scoring-a-goal irony. “She’s a great athlete, has that good attitude and just always wants to get better at ... whatever! It’s good to have her on our side.”
Having the potent McKenzy Howerton-Johana Ruiz-Allie Kibel triumvirate operating well had the side all the more hyped for action on Thursday’s trip to Pagosa Springs and Friday’s jaunt to Bayfield. Results against the Lady Pirates were unavailable at press time, while kickoff inside Wolverine Country Stadium in Bayfield is set for 4 p.m.
“Pagosa ... we tied them earlier in the season, so that’s going to be a good battle,” Emrich said, “and then at Bayfield on Friday. So our pre-game focus was kind of like, ‘Let’s win this ... and set up for the rest of the week!’ We’ve got a good chance to win three games.”
Particularly if M-CHS enjoys the sort of start witnessed in Ignacio. Ruiz converted a Howerton feed in just the eighth minute to break the ice, then Kibel crushed a Lyndi Belt setup through Pearson’s hands in the 13th for a 2-0 advantage.
Howerton then volleyed a Tierra Decker pass perfectly over Pearson’s head in the 24th, ripped a Decker helper through Pearson’s gloves in the 26th, and struck again in the 29th to complete her hat trick.
Summer Triana got into the act in the 31st, converting a Kibel assist, and Kibel later cashed in on a penalty kick – resulting from a hand-ball called against IHS’ Sydnee Cruz – in the 38th to send the aggressive visitors (who gained 10 first-half corner kicks to their shorthanded hosts’ zero) into intermission up seven scores.
Decker, in the 46th, and Belt, via a penalty kick – product of a foul whistled against IHS’ Alexis Pontine – 10 minutes later, ultimately positioned Montezuma-Cortez (4-3-1 overall, 4-3-1 3A/2A Southwestern, 0-1-1 3A SWL) for a mercy-rule conquest, bettering a 6-0 home win April 13 over the Lady Cats (1-6-0, 1-6-0, 1-3-0 2A SWL).
“First half, we were trying to dribble a little too much, but then the second half, we calmed down and passed it around a bit more,” said Emrich. “Which is what we need to work on, so I was, overall, happy with our result.”