Steve Lewis/Durango Herald
The seniors on the Durango High School girls soccer team are a literal bunch.
Thursday’s calendar, for example, said “Senior Day.”
Accordingly, the DHS seniors had a hand in every goal in a 7-0 Southwestern League-clinching victory over rival Montezuma-Cortez at the Riverview Sports Complex.
“We’ve been a really strong age group since we were really young,” said Durango senior Emily Barney, who scored the first goal of the match in the third minute.
“It’s so great to have all of us together on Senior Day,” said Barney, who was honored in a prematch ceremony along with her nine senior classmates. “It’s really emotional for us because we’ve played together for so long.”
Barney, daughter of Tom Barney and Anne Klein, said the Durango seniors have “supported each other from the beginning.”
Fellow senior Brooke Milliet scored two minutes after Barney, converting a picturesque finish to the upper right corner of the frame after taking a crossing pass from Steffie Wilson.
Milliet assisted on Durango’s next two goals – both of which earned a place in Class of 2012 history.
Milliet’s somersault throw-in deep in the Cortez end went right to a leaping Berkeley Davis, who headed the ball into the net. Her next assist came on an indirect kick that glanced into the goal off the backside of her sister, freshman Lauren Milliet.
“We definitely connected in the second half,” said senior Amanda McAliney, who launched a flurry of DHS attacks from the midfield.
“We wanted to finish ... with a decisive win,” said McAliney, daughter of Mike and Renee McAliney.
The Demons, who scored five goals in the second half, outshot the visiting Panthers 27-2.
“In the second half, we asked the girls to be a little more patient,” Durango head coach Aaron Eldridge said.
“We asked them to move the ball around, and they executed the game plan,” Eldridge said.
Senior Raquel Delgado drew a Cortez foul in the box to set up fellow senior Meghan O’Brien for a second-half penalty kick goal.
Delgado scored herself on a header.
And Delgado, a senior, blasted a shot that rebounded to Sarah Bates for Durango’s final goal in the conference-clinching victory.
Eldridge credited a solid, organized defensive effort by the Demons and seniors Erin Maxwell, Amanda Urban, Amanda Jones and goalkeeper Karlee Mulkey.
“What they did (on defense) was incredibly clean and smart,” Eldridge said. “They set up the attack that made us successful (Thursday).”
The DHS head coach said the Demons benefit from a “wealth of leadership” from the current seniors.
“The only thing is Savannah (Seiter) got hurt, and she couldn’t share this with us on the field,” Eldridge said.
“We would have loved to have seen her play (Thursday),” Eldridge said of the Fort Lewis College women’s soccer recruit.
Seiter, however, led the cheers from the DHS bench.
Parents Janet and Mark Seiter also were on hand to celebrate Senior Day with the rest of the seniors’ parents, who turned out en masse.
Durango (10-4-1, 8-2-0 Southwestern League) will learn its postseason assignment Sunday afternoon. The SWL champion Demons likely will host a first-round Class 4A playoff match Tuesday at Riverview Sports Complex.