Girls soccer rolls Eagle Valley to cap perfect league season
Steamboat Springs — Winning has become so routine for the Steamboat Springs High School girls’ soccer team this season, it’s almost boring.
Thursday against Eagle Valley, the Sailors put an exclamation point on the end of an undefeated season in Western Slope League play with a 5-0 win on senior night at Gardner Field.
“It’s great. Every game is a different scenario,” SSHS soccer coach Rob Bohlmann said. “This group has been so consistent through those variables of the different challenges, the different games, different opponents. Going 12-0 in league play, that’s a sign of consistency.”
Being consistent involves doing the same thing over and over, which is the case for the Sailors. They finish the regular season 14-1 overall with a perfect mark in the WSL. Steamboat has outscored its opponents 61-6 on the year, including 10 shutouts. Since returning from spring break, SSHS has won its five games by a combined score of 23-0.
It’s certainly boring soccer for those wanting competitive games, but it’s the sort of boring the players strive for.
“We are just really working well as a team,” said midfielder Natalie Bohlmann, one of eight seniors recognized at halftime Thursday. “Obviously, (senior goalie Ocoee Wilson) is really great and makes some great saves, but all together, I think from forwards to midfields to defense, we are playing really well defensively.”
As Natalie Bohlmann mentioned, it’s been great play on both ends of the field that’s kept other teams off the scoreboard, though the defense didn’t have to do much early against Eagle Valley (5-8-2); the Sailors dominated possession in the first half.
Senior Jordi Floyd scored less than three minutes into the game, and the ball barely crossed midfield the remainder of the period. Despite their dominance, the Sailors didn’t score again until junior Brooke Buchanan’s rocket in the 28th minute.
Bohlmann deflected a loose ball into the net only a few minutes later, leading to a 3-0 halftime edge for the Sailors.
“The 15-18 minutes that followed that (first) goal was really, really good soccer,” Rob Bohlmann said. “There are several components (that make up the great defense) — a big focus on taking care of the ball and possession.”
The Sailors added two more goals in the second half, both by Natalie Bohlmann — though even she acknowledges two of her three goals could have easily been awarded to a teammate — with the defense doing the rest. Wilson finished with three saves in net and was pulled in favor of junior Leah Rowse with about 22 minutes remaining. Rowse closed out the contest with four saves.
Steamboat hasn’t allowed a goal since a 3-1 win against Glenwood Springs on April 12.
“Ellese Lupori — El Diablo, as I am starting to call her — the girl is a sweetheart, but she steps on the field, and she is absolutely a beast,” Rob Bohlmann said of his senior, who is arguably the heart of the defense. “But you watch a lot of her work; it is proactive. She organizes.”
Winners of seven straight, the Sailors now await their postseason fate. Ranked No. 8 in Class 4A with only one loss, Steamboat is confident it will land in the top 16 when the bracket is announced Sunday, which would allow the Sailors to host a playoff game for the first time since 2009.
Home or away, the Sailors’ first-round playoff game will take place Wednesday.
“It was kind of emotional at the beginning, but I think we were all really happy,” Natalie Bohlmann said of senior night. “It’s been a great year. We’ve all worked for this, and it’s kind of come together this year. It’s really cool to see.”
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs School District plans to bring middle school students back to school full time and in person in two weeks on March 22.