IHS ‘twice the team’ it used to be

Steve Lewis/Durango Herald

Jasmine Red and the Ignacio Bobcats have juggled a tough road through their 1-7 season, but they’re improving. “I think we’ve made tremendous strides,” Shawni Troup said. “Before this, we could barely make a play, and now we’re making plays left and right.”

By Jim Sojourner Herald staff writer

A 10-0 loss always is hard to swallow, but even in defeat, the Ignacio High School girls soccer team isn’t the same team it was a month ago.

“I thought Ignacio was twice the team as last time,” Bayfield High School head coach Jen Zelinski said after her girls beat the Bobcats by shutout Tuesday. The first time they met March 20, the Wolverines won 8-0.

“Kudos to them,” Zelinski said.

Against the Wolverines, the Bobcats struggled to maintain control of the ball or compete with the Wolverines’ high-powered and undefeated offense, but Zelinski said the Bobcats’ communication and passing game have come a long way since their first meeting.

“Huge strides,” IHS head coach Andrew Fenity said. “Everybody has grown into a team, a unit on the field that plays as one.”

Fenity said his girls are playing with their heads up. Each game gets better and better, he said, and the girls are playing the ball to feet and getting creative, moving outside of their strict position roles and trying to intelligently make plays happen.

Just a month ago, that wasn’t happening, said Bobcats’ player Shawni Troup.

“I think we’ve made tremendous strides,” Troup said. “Before this, we could barely make a play, and now we’re making plays left and right.”

That’s reason to stay positive, said Destinee Lucero, even after what could’ve been a demoralizing loss.

“I thought we did really good (against Bayfield),” she said. “We tried; we’re progressing.”

The Bobcats are 1-7 this season, with their lone win coming in a 4-1 victory recently over Center.

With four games left in the season, Fenity said he’s hoping to raise the number in the W column.

“Our biggest goal would be getting two more wins,” he said.

Ignacio will host Ridgway at 11 a.m. Saturday, but the rematch against Center on April 27 looks most ripe for a repeat victory. The season finale against Pagosa Springs, who beat Igancio 4-0 on Saturday, also looks good, Fenity said, as the Bobcats match up well with that side.

Still, as long as the girls keep supporting each other, giving 100-percent effort and improving, Fenity said he’ll be happy.

“I’ve learned a lot,” Lucero said. “We’ve really come far from the start.”

jsojourner@durangoherald.com

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