Steamboat girls soccer poised for 2023, hopes to build off last year’s success

Steamboat Springs girls soccer reached the state quarterfinals in 2022. The team looks to replicate that recent success and build off the post-COVID era of soccer for the 2023 season that starts with a game against Palisade on Saturday, March 11, 2023.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Replicating last year’s success will be a tough task for the Steamboat Springs girls soccer team. 

In 2022, the girls went undefeated in league play and made it to the quarterfinal behind a 14-3 record on the year. 

Now, with the loss of a few key players to graduation, the Sailors have big shoes to fill but head coach Rob Bohlmann thinks the girls are up to the task. 

“Our biggest thing is just building off the success that has been cultivated during the post-COVID era,” Bohlmann said. “Last year really set the bar high and now we’re just working hard to meet those standards and see where this group grows from there.”

This year’s team features a mixed bag of experienced upperclassmen and a fresh set of underclassmen. Bohlmann said the senior group is tremendous and has played a major part in the winning culture for a couple years now. 

The seniors know what it feels like and know what it takes to compete at the highest levels of high school soccer. Bohlmann’s goal is to get them to pass that on to the younger group of girls on the rise. 

Sadie Hartman is one of just two freshmen on the varsity team to start the season. 

Hartman knows most of the girls from competing on the Steamboat Soccer Club over the years and believes that experience has prepared her as best as possible for what is to come at the high school level. 

Anabel Ayad, middle, a now-senior on the Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team, hugs teammate Caroline Baur, left, during a game against Denver North on May 11, 2022 at Gardner Field. The Sailors have put an emphasis on team chemistry in 2023 and hope to funnel that throughout the program.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Hartman has dreams of being part of a Sailor soccer dynasty and hopes to build the foundation of a winning culture for years to come. She has had little trouble adjusting to the varsity level. 

“I think the practices have helped and the winter camp we had before the season started helped,” Hartman said. “It’s not too scary and I was varsity for basketball so I think that also helped too.”

Avery Duty, a now-senior on the Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team, advances the ball toward the middle of the field during a second-round 4A playoff game against Mullen on May 14, 2022. Duty is part of a strong senior group that looks to build off the team’s recent success and help put together a strong run through the 2023 state tournament.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The team has only been practicing for about a week and one of the biggest challenges for the spring season is finding practice time and practice space. 

Steamboat has seven spring sports in total with five of them vying for time on the turf and track areas. It’s an obstacle each team must overcome early in the season and the snowy weather never makes it easier. 

“We’ve had a couple practices outdoors, which is phenomenal and a huge shoutout to all the staff, administration and workers that came out to remove the snow because this was a project,” Bohlmann said. “I think it really shows the commitment the school district has to athletics, especially in the springtime.”

Bohlmann said that because of the extra efforts to get the girls practicing on the turf, they are ready and prepared for the first game of the season on Saturday, March 11, in Palisade. 

Hartman said the girls are excited to go out and win the first game. Once they earn that first win, “it’s on.”

Steamboat beat Palisade in both matchups last season and looks to start the 2023 campaign the same way. 

Bohlmann’s plan is to use the first game as a gauge for the season as a whole. Finding what areas need some work will be key this early in the year. 

“Does the result necessarily go our way? Sometimes that is out of our control, but we want to get a great measuring stick of where we are and the only way to do that is to go and play really hard for the result,” Bohlmann said.

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