Was the long-anticipated Bayfield-Alamosa boys' soccer rematch as good as advertised?
Looking at the 1-0 final score, a much closer outcome than when the Wolverines fell 3-2 to the Mean Moose more than a month before, one would have to say it was indeed.
And if BHS had to end the 2018 season on the shorter side of the extra-competitive Saturday match, head coach Chris Zoltowski seemed amenable to the notion.
"It was a great match and the boys held their own," he said via text message after the game. "It was easily the best game of the season and a battle from both sides. No matter how good either team is, Alamosa always ends up a 1-point game, either way, and that was the case."
Neither team could gain the upper hand before halftime, and neither appeared able to do until AHS junior Esteban Antonio struck in the 78th minute, leaving BHS (2-13-0 overall, 1-5-0 3A Southwestern, 1-11-0 3A/2A SWL) little time in which to respond.
"Scored a banger," quipped Zoltowski. "It was a great match though, 13 seniors versus our three. We ended our season beating Bloomfield and holding our own against the league leaders. I am so excited for next year!"
"I think when that.game hits," junior co-captain Weslee Blakesless said of Alamosa earlier this season, "we'll have chemistry put in there solid and, all of our team on the field, healthy and ready to go. We're going to bring it to them real hard."
Having avoided a tie-break scenario atop the 3A SWL just the previous afternoon by drawing 1-1 at second-place Montezuma-Cortez after two overtimes, Alamosa improved to 7-7-1 overall, 5-6-1 against all SWL opposition, and a first-place 5-0-1 against the loop's 3A members.
Representing the league in the 3A State Tournament, Alamosa - unluckily dealt the opening round's #32 seed - were set to face 1-seed Colorado Springs Atlas Prep on Thursday, Oct. 25. Having won the Tri-Peaks League with a 7-0-1 mark, Atlas Prep entered the match with an imposing 14-0-1 overall record.