Sailors collect 8th win of the season with second-straight victory over Rifle Bears
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team collected the team’s eighth win of the season Tuesday at Gardner Field, and the team’s second shut-out victory over the Rifle Bears in just four days. The final score was 10-0.
“I think these games just really lifted our spirits,” said senior Autumn Graham, who earned her first-ever high school goal in the game. “It got us back into the rhythm that we needed to be in, and I think that is helpful going into Palisade.”
Graham’s second-half goal was one of 10 Steamboat scored on the night.
Riley Hodges got things rolling for the Sailors at the 15-minute mark with an unassisted effort. Less than a minute later, senior Ashley Spiegel scored after taking a pass from Kelly Petix.
The Sailors took a 3-0 lead at the 20-minute mark when sophomore Sophie Leeson scored on a crossing pass from Sydney Graham. Leeson also scored the next goal five minutes later after getting an assist from Sloan Russell and racing past the Rifle defense en route to scoring Steamboat’s fourth goal of the half.
Corey Petix made the score 5-0 with an unassisted effort and then Eden Reece, who normally plays between the pipes, scored the sixth goal of the half with an assist going to Leeson.
The Sailors had 28 of the team’s 45 shots on goal in the first half. The Bears had a great chance to score at the end of the half, but Steamboat’s Izzy Rillos stopped the shot with a nice header in front of a wide-open goal. The Bears also put a shot on goal in the second half, but it was easily stopped by Reece, who returned to her normal position in the second half of the game.
The Sailors dropped to eight players early in the second, but the goals just kept coming.
Ruthie Gorrell scored in the 42nd minute with an assist from Kelly Petix. Sydney Graham scored with an assist from Riley Hodges, and Autumn Graham scored her goal in the 65th minute to make the score 9-0.
The game ended in the 75th minute when Corey Petix took a shot that bounced off the goalie’s hands, and Russell was there to volley it out of the air and into the back of the net. The score invoked the mercy rule with five minutes left to play.
“The Rifle players challenged themselves to keep their defensive organization, which has obviously been the team’s focus,” Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann said. “They went deeper into the game this time … it’s nice to see some progression from them.”
The Steamboat wins came at a critical point of the season for the Sailors who battled through a rough section that included lots of travel in early April. The team was on the road for games at Lewis Palmer near Colorado Springs on April 7, traveled to Palisade on April 10 to take on the Bulldogs and returned home to face the red-hot Battle Mountain Huskies on April 12.
Bohlmann said he was happy with the way the team rebounded against Rifle. He said the Bears challenged the Steamboat players with the offside trap, which is a strength of the Bears’ defense.
“Whether you are trying to get behind the line higher up the field or deeper in the field, fundamentally, it’s still the same thing,” Bohlmann said. “We are working on patterns, on how you break lines and how you get behind defenses. Then once we got behind we were working on the efficiency in the penalty areas.
“We had a lot of reps, we had a lot of services, we had some great shots, and we had some great goals from additional goal scorers that we moved into different positions,” the coach added.
Bohlmann is hoping the team can take some of the things it has learned the past two games into Friday’s showdown with Palisade — a game the Sailors desperately want to win. The Bulldogs stung the Sailors 2-1 in the teams’ last meeting, which was played in Grand Junction just eight days ago.
“That was one patch, and we knew it was going to be tough from the get-go looking at our schedule,” Bohlmann said. “You can’t look past the fact that emotionally and physically the girls put in a lot into the Golden and Lewis Palmer games to great success (leading into the game with Palisade). It was good soccer and good results and a lot of progression within the season.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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