Sailors soccer falls, 1-0, to Warriors | SteamboatToday.com

Sailors soccer falls, 1-0, to Warriors

Grand Junction Central goalie Savannah Moore tries to beat Steamboat Springs High School junior Mia Quick to a loose ball Thursday. The Sailors lost the game, 1-0.

— The Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team played well. Its Thursday night showdown against Class 5A’s Grand Junction Central wasn’t a league game and won’t hurt the Sailors’ hunt for the Western Slope League title.

But the 1-0 loss was tough.

A good showing on a cold, wet evening wasn’t enough to prevent Steamboat from thinking about warmer days and an opportunity missed.

“I really, really wanted this one,” senior Steamboat goalkeeper Hanna Berglund said afterward. “This one might have really made an impact for the playoffs. It might be the difference between starting at home or on the road.”

Grand Junction took control of the game in the second half, generating a pressure that finally paid off in a goal with 18 minutes, 32 seconds remaining.

The Warriors earned a series of corner kicks leading up to the deciding strike and finally converted one into a goal. The ball flew into a crowded area directly in front of the net, then bounced off Grand Junction’s Haleigh Higgins and into the corner of goal.

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“We had to really work hard for this one,” Grand Junction coach Doug Beach said. “This was a lot harder than most of our league games.”

Steamboat controlled the game’s early minutes. When the Sailors failed to score in that stretch, the team missed its best opportunity.

The squad managed a few good shots, but most of its best plays came in the midfield, setting up those opportunities. A stiff Grand Junction defense always seemed to rise to the challenge before Steamboat could set up a good shot.

“The girls gave a good effort,” Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. “Our challenge now is finding out whether we can create more opportunities to goal. We pinged it around pretty nicely in the middle third but lacked that threat to go to goal.”

Steamboat also found a few good cracks at the goal late in the game, after the Warriors had taken the lead.

One distant shot, with seven minutes remaining, clanged off a post. Another opportunity came on a pass that set up a pair of Sailors right in front of the goal. They couldn’t manage to head the streaking ball in, however.

Berglund was solid throughout, picking up three saves in the first half and six more in the second.

“My defense was listening tonight, that’s for sure,” Berglund said. “They came together and played well and kept there from being even more shots.”

Steamboat returns to action at 4:45 p.m. Monday for a game against Battle Mountain.

The Sailors (6-3, 5-0) will try to stay perfect in the Western Slope and, they said, hope to find a way to break out of stalemates like Thursday’s.

“It comes down to the efficiency in the penalty area,” Bohlmann said. “That’s what we talked about after the game. Can we be a little more efficient? Can we get higher percentage opportunities?”

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