Steamboat girls soccer advances in playoffs with win over Denver North
The Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team’s game-winning goal had three phases.
First, junior Reina Bomberski got the ball deep into the attacking zone. She sped up the sideline and as she approached an opponent, pulled back and cornered left, dodging the defender. Then, she kicked the ball toward the center of the field.
Senior Darby Martinez set it all up. After collecting Bomberski’s pass, she threatened to score her third goal of the game, drawing out the Denver North goalkeeper. She slammed an attempt into the approaching goalie, who prevented the goal, but couldn’t control the shot.
Senior Ellery Hodges was there to put it away. She collected the rebound and moved a step to the outside, staying out of the way as the Viking’s goalie frantically returned to her feet. Hodges drilled the ball into the net, giving her team a 3-2 lead 12 minutes into the second half.
“Honestly, it was a little blurry, but I remember last game it was the same deal where I shot it, it pinged off the keeper and Darby put it in,” Hodges said. “It was Darby’s shot this time. Then whenever it pinged off, I went to the side to shoot it hard.”
The goal effectively earned No. 6 Steamboat the 4-2 victory over No. 27 Denver North at Gardner Field on Wednesday, May 11 in the first round of the Colorado High School Activities Association 4A girls soccer playoffs.
Hodges’ goal was everything.
The previous 11 minutes were awful, at least for the Sailors. The home team held a 2-0 lead at the break, but a pair of breakaway goals from Vikings seniors Sara Hanks and Evelyn Phillips erased that lead in less than seven minutes to start the second half.
“We were trying to keep the energy high but it’s a struggle when you have all that momentum and then it gets cut in half,” said Sailors senior keeper Sam Campbell. “That can be hard to bring it back. I think we were getting there, which is a credit to our team’s atmosphere, but that goal was definitely a catalyst for it.”
Hodges said the Sailors have gotten this far because of her teammates ability to not get down and keep each other positive when they lose a lead.
“I think that other teams tend to get down, put their heads down and yell at each other,” she said. “But we use that as motivation and work as a team better.”
Sophomore Gwyn Jamison added another goal five minutes after Hodges’ to get Steamboat back into a comfortable position.
The first half saw Martinez score a pair, the first coming off an acrobatic throw in from junior Anabel Ayad. The second followed a string of one-on-one victories over Vikings defenders, putting Martinez in front of the goalie alone. She scored effortlessly to give her team the 2-0 lead.
The Sailors will host No. 11 Mullen on Saturday, May 14, at 11 a.m. and will do exactly what they did to prepare for Wednesday’s game and take it up a notch.
“We always say, ‘Hungry and humble’ for our motto to go into every game,” Campbell said. “In the huddle right before the game I was saying, ‘We can’t say we’re the better team, that we’re going to win. We just have to say that we’ve prepared better and we have a better mentality.’”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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