Steamboat girls roll past Pueblo County to advance in state tournament
PUEBLO — Fueled by senior Rachelle Koly’s three first-half goals, the Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team rolled to a 6-1 victory against Pueblo County on Wednesday in Pueblo.
“The vibe was so good when we came out onto the field. Everybody wanted to win,” Koly said. “We played for each other, and it was so fun to play out there.”
The Sailors first scoring opportunity came just nine minutes into the first half. Several Sailor players attacked the goal and were able to take shots, only to be turned back by Pueblo County goalkeeper Amanda Carlo. But the goalkeeper and her defense were unable to clear the ball before Koly’s final strike, a hard shot to the corner that found the back of the net.
The goal was the first of three for the Steamboat senior. She scored again near the 20-minute mark after getting a nice feed from fellow senior Delaney Moon. Koly’s third goal was set up by Corey Petix and gave Steamboat a 3-0 lead 30 minutes into the half.
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With the wind to the team’s back in the second half, No. 14 Pueblo County looked to find its stride and avoid being upset by the No. 19 seeded Sailors. While the Hornets were able to posses the ball more in the second half, the team rarely tested Steamboat goalkeeper Caroline Lupori, who did not give up a goal before leaving last in the second half.
Steamboat stretched the score to 4-0 at the 59-minute mark after Lucy Wilson placed a free kick into the Pueblo County box. Once again, the ball hit several players before senior Megan Salyer got her foot on the ball and placed it in the back of the net.
Moon scored the Sailors fifth goal after getting a pass from teammate sophomore Hailey Moss. Pueblo County’s Allison Henrikson finally got the Hornets on the board with less than 10 minutes left in the game with a shot from distance that found the upper right corner of the Steamboat net. It would turn out to be Pueblo County’s only goal of the game.
A few minutes later Steamboat sophomore Ella Pietras got knocked to the ground while shooting, resulting in a penalty kick. She placed it past the Hornets backup keeper Brooklyn Dash for Steamboat’s final goal of the game.
The victory is the Sailors first playoff win since 2016 when the team advanced to the state quarterfinals. That year the team lost a 3-0 contest with the eventual state champions Lewis-Palmer. Steamboat will now advance to face No. 3 Evergreen in the second round. Evergreen had a first round bye.
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