Resilient Sailors boys soccer team falls to Niwot in state tournament
Following an overtime thriller that came down to penalty kicks against Grand Junction on Oct. 27, Steamboat Springs soccer advanced to the second round of the state tournament where the Sailors were matched up against No. 7 seed Niwot on Wednesday, Nov. 2.
Despite a resilient attitude throughout, the Sailors fell to the Cougars 3-2, ending Steamboat’s season.
Head coach Rob Bohlmann said Steamboat started off strong, and despite missing a penalty kick and getting scored on early, his boys bounced back to take a 2-1 lead at halftime.
Steamboat sophomore Will Haden was the first Sailor to find the net in the game, thanks to an assist by senior goalkeeper Charlie Welch.
“Charlie played a nice dropkick behind the defense that sailed about 50 yards, and Will was able to run in and get behind with a defender giving a tight chase,” Bohlmann said. “Will was able to step in and knock it over the keeper’s head and into the back of the net. It was a brilliant piece of work.”
Not long after that, junior Brady Adams scored to give the Sailors a 2-1 advantage.
At halftime, Bohlmann said the boys were focused and showed the same mental toughness that he saw in them throughout October.
“This game very much paralleled what the season has been and what the group is about,” Bohlmann said. “That’s just a terrific example of the power of being resilient. We were able to come back and score two unanswered goals to go up 2-1 in the first half.”
To start the second half, Bohlmann was hoping to keep the energy high and get his team to attack in numbers. They struggled doing so in the first half because Niwot’s formation spread them across the whole field.
The Cougars were able to tie the game in the second half and scored the game-winner as time ticked off the clock in regulation.
Looking back on the season, Bohlmann recalled several tight games at the beginning of the year that his team lost, but he added that the boys found their stride in October and it all came from showing up for each other.
“Looking back, the rearview mirror was the power of resiliency, showing up day in and day out for your teammates and just having fun with the journey of the season, and these guys did that,” Bohlmann said. “You have your ups and your downs, but they stayed the course and they kept working. They were super resilient even in those moments of second guessing.”
Niwot 3, Steamboat Springs 2
SS: 2 0
N: 1 2
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email tskulski@SteamboatPilot.com.
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