Steamboat soccer blanks Rifle, 6-0 |

Steamboat soccer blanks Rifle, 6-0

Luke Graham

The game was clean and tidy, just like Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer coach Rob Bohlmann prefers.

Steamboat, on the legs of three Mandi DeVos goals, remained perfect in the Western Slope League East Division on Thursday, cruising past Rifle, 6-0.

“It was good,” Bohlmann said. “The first half, we had the run of play. The focus the past couple of games has been changing our attacking from a rhythm to playing a little more direct. (Thursday) was a nice balance of those two. We really had the run of play. In the second half, we looked to mix the player personalities around.”

Steamboat had all but decided the contest in the first 40 minutes.

DeVos scored early on a setup from Leah Berdine. Emi Birch scored the second goal for Steamboat, a blast from 22 yards out.

DeVos added two more, and Birch got another one to send the Sailors to a 5-0 halftime lead.

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“We’ve been working hard in practice” on attacking aggressively, Berdine said. “It paid off (Thursday), and you could see it. We’ve been working on finding the forwards and if they are not there, then not trying to force it.”

Elise Anderson scored a header late in the second half on a corner kick from Sydney Bauknecht.

The win puts Steamboat at 8-3 overall and 7-0 in league play.

The team resumes play at 11 a.m. Saturday at Gardner Field against Eagle Valley. After that, the Sailors are off for a week for spring break, then return for three games before the playoffs.

Although Steamboat hasn’t won the league outright yet – a victory April 28 at Battle Mountain most likely would do the trick – Bohlmann said the team is hoping to wrap up a league title with one eye on the playoffs.

“It’s a two-fold thing,” he said. “This league isn’t wrapped up yet. It’s our intent to win the league. We have three league games to go. We haven’t mathematically clinched first place, but I’m guessing, mathematically, we’ve clinched a playoff spot. It’s a little bit of an eye on the future. But we want to improve as a group as we move on.”