Trend-setter Moreta marks another first for Bayfield

Dale Strode/Durango Herald

Keenan Moreta, flanked by Bayfield High School soccer coach Jen Zelinski and her mom, Colleen Moreta, became the first Wolverines’ girls soccer player to sign a national letter of intent to play college soccer.

By Dale Strode Herald staff writer

BAYFIELD – Keenan Moreta has been a trend-setter on the soccer pitch ever since her first match in high school.

Moreta, the leading scorer in Bayfield High School history, will take her trend-setting game to Otero Junior College in La Junta next year.

The BHS senior signed her national letter of intent recently to play for the Rattlers as they launch their new women’s soccer program in 2012-13.

“It’ll be fun to have a ... whole new team,” Moreta said at her signing ceremony in the Bayfield High School auditorium.

“It’s just starting out. It’s pretty exciting,” said Moreta, the leading scorer at BHS during her freshman, sophomore and junior seasons. She led the Wolverines in scoring this season, as well.

In all, Moreta scored 75 goals in high school, including a conference-leading 23 goals last season.

She said a visit to the campus in La Junta convinced her to start her collegiate soccer career with the Rattlers.

“I really liked the campus. It’s small ... it’s nice,” she said.

Her new coach at Otero, Donny Ribaudo, comes from California – Cal State-Chico specifically.

“That’s a great (connection),” Moreta said. “I ... want to transfer after two years to a California school.”

“I think Otero will be a great start for her,” said Jen Zelinski, the Wolverines’ head coach.

“With a new program ... she’ll have a chance to show them what she’s got. I think she’ll do well there,” said Zelinski, a former standout at Fort Lewis College before taking over the BHS program.

She’s coached Moreta all four years in high school.

“This is the first player I’ve had sign (to play college soccer),” Zelinski said. “We talked ... back when she was a freshman. She said she wanted to play (college soccer) in California.”

Zelinski said she told Moreta that if she worked hard to improve, she would have opportunities in college.

“She worked hard ... this shows the commitment she has given our program,” Zelinski said.

The BHS coach said Moreta’s leadership will help her at the next level.

“She’s a great leader. She knows the game well,” said Zelinski, crediting her commitment to club soccer as well.

Moreta also knows there’s a lot of work ahead.

“I’m going to have to step it up a bunch,” Moreta said. “I’ll be working out a lot this summer.”

The lanky BHS senior also played on Bayfield’s state tournament-qualifying girls basketball team.

“(Basketball) helps you with your composure,” said Moreta, the daughter of Colleen and Tony Moreta.

“I think this shows ... how our program has progressed,” Zelinski said. “I think it will help other ... (colleges) look at players from Bayfield.”

dstrode @durangoherald.com

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