Steamboat boys soccer’s playoff run ends with best result since 2000

Steamboat Springs defeated Summit 3-2 in a boys soccer match on Oct. 19, 2023, at SSHS. The Sailors advanced to the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs against Centaurus on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, but were eliminated in a tight 2-1 match.
Eli Pace/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Despite holding a one-goal lead for the majority of the match, the No. 7 Steamboat Springs boys soccer team fell 2-1 in a quarterfinal matchup against No. 2 Centaurus on Saturday in Lafayette. 

Entering the second half with a 1-0 lead, the Sailors held the advantage for the first 30 minutes until the Warriors managed to find the back of the net on a rebound off the hands of senior goalkeeper Cole Campbell. Just 18 seconds later, Centaurus scored again to gain the advantage and advance to the semifinals. 

“The underlying message is that the boys played with the heart of a lion today,” Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. “They were warriors and were so close to getting the result. … They left it all on the field.”

The lone Sailors’ goal came in the 24th minute on a free kick by senior Will Haden for his 26th goal of the year. 

Bohlmann said the thing that impressed him most this season was how player-led and collaborative this group was. They had the ability to work things out, buy into each other and the system, and remain resilient during tough games. 

This was just the fourth loss the Sailors have suffered this season, and they closed out the year with one of the best runs in Steamboat boys soccer history.

According to Bohlmann, the last time the Sailors reached the quarterfinal game in the 4A bracket was in 2000, before any of his players this season were even born. 

“As much as it stings, they will get to a place quickly where they will feel really good about what they accomplished today and what they did throughout the course of the season,” Bohlmann said. 

The Steamboat boys soccer team huddles up on the field prior to the start of its first round playoff match against Erie on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023.
Tom Skulski/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Sailors played Centaurus once earlier this season, losing 5-0 in September. Steamboat’s approach during practice since Wednesday night’s victory over Glenwood Springs was a little different. The Sailors had to deal with player health and other moving pieces, but managed to play tough and maintain a tight game. 

Centaurus will advance to play the winner of No. 3 Battle Mountain versus No. 11 Niwot. 

After the game, Bohlmann told his players how proud he was of them. He said they possessed a culture and mentality that he hopes next year’s returning players continue to bring with them. 

“To the seniors, specifically, we sent the message of what they have done through the past four years,” Bohlmann said. “Through the ups and downs, they helped carry the program to the point where we can compete with any team.”

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