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Wolverines blank Moose 5-0 in season finale

BHS’ seniors log three goals, shutout at home
Bayfield's Asher Madonna clashes with Alamosa's Ivhan Snyder (10) for possession Wednesday evening inside Wolverine Country Stadium.

Though protecting a one-goal lead, there was some fire– revealed in a yellow card given to junior Shaw Foster – needing containment for Bayfield as the first half expired Wednesday inside Wolverine Country Stadium.

Once the intermission had concluded, however, any stubborn embers were smothered in less than a minute.

Positioned roughly 23 yards straight away from visiting Alamosa’s net, BHS junior Silas Wilbourn calmly intercepted a desperate clearance pass, and with no Mean Moose within 10 yards, zinged a 42nd-minute shot over keeper Joshua Taylor for a vital insurance goal as the home team rolled to a 5-0 victory.

“I took it because of Zander (Berriman) – he was on the bench and told me to take a shot, so I just sent one and it floated right in!” Wilbourn said.

Bayfield's Brandon Wursten, left, cuts off an Alamosa attack along the sideline during Wednesday’s match inside Wolverine Country Stadium.

Hailing from Barcelona, Spain, senior Guillem ‘Willy’ Roca then converted a pass from senior Tristan French in the 52nd. Fellow senior Caleb Donelan struck in the 60th after a Wilbourn assist for a 4-nil advantage.

“Felt great,” the out-of-breath captain said during a post-match celebration. “I knew exactly where to put it. I said, ‘Right bottom corner’ and put it in!”

Running onto a Roca pass played over his head and forward into space, junior Gavin Larson punctuated senior goalie Gavin Davis’ shutout win netting in the 75th minute as head coach Chris Zoltowski happily rotated some defenders, including junior Andy Monger and sophomore Shae Railsback, forward and some forwards back in the formation.

“We have four seniors,” Zoltowski said, “and three of them score goals, while the fourth gets a shutout. That’s a perfect Senior Day right there.”

The fall 2021 Bayfield seniors – Spanish foreign-exchange student Guillem Roca (19), Caleb Donelan (7), goalkeeper Gavin Davis (1), Tristan French (3) – stand with coach Chris Zoltowski after the Wolverines' season-ending 5-0 home win over Alamosa Wednesday. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald)

“I believe so; I couldn’t have asked for a better game to end the season,” French agreed. “We were having a great time laughing, talking to each other. We weren’t really focused on scoring, just trying to have as much fun as we could.”

But even if goals were a byproduct, the Wolverines (6-9, 4-2 3A Southwest) definitely wanted more of them, particularly after French’s 26th-minute icebreaker. Chasing down a Lance Mitchell pass into the open corner to Taylor’s left, then sharply cutting away from the approaching end line, French had two options: cross the ball toward the back post to set up a Donelan or Foster header or try a tight-angle shot at the same back post.

“I was thinking about supplying it, but I saw there wasn’t the time to do that,” he said. “So I just ripped the shot, and it went over the goalie’s hands, right into the back left corner. It was a beautiful curve.”

“There’s always talk of ‘Let’s put 10 in,’” Donelan said addressing a possible mercy-rule route of the struggling Mean Moose (2-11, 1-5), “but I think we did exactly what we wanted to do.” Alamosa lost 3-0 the previous day to 2A No. 1 Crested Butte (14-0).

“We have some things that we learned today, that we’re going to be able to build on,” Zoltowski said, “and I think it’s going to make our attack even more effective. I can’t be any more proud of these boys.”

With Bayfield owning an overwhelming advantage in both shots and shots on frame, Taylor unofficially totaled 10 saves in defeat while Davis, who vacated his line multiple times to stop lengthy Moose passes forward but faced no actual shots after halftime, unofficially logged two. BHS also gained four corners to AHS’ two.

“Every senior scored, and it was awesome,” said Roca.

“We ended strong,” Wilbourn said, aware that a half-dozen wins probably wouldn’t earn the Wolverines even a low seed in the upcoming 3A state tournament. “We didn’t give up our season even though we lost league. It means we can enter next season even better.” Bayfield stood 39th in CHSAA’s RPI figures on Thursday morning.

Pagosa Springs paced the 3A SWL this fall with a 5-1 league mark and stood at 11-4 overall.