Steamboat girls soccer team comes up short in bid to upset top-seeded Evergreen
EVERGREEN — The members of the Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team headed to Evergreen on Saturday with hopes of upsetting the No. 3 ranked Cougars on Evergreen’s home turf. But those hopes were dashed in the second half as the Cougars scored three times putting an end to the Sailors Cinderella run.
“We knew that Steamboat was going to be really well organized and have some really high-quality players, and we were right,” Evergreen coach Peter Jeans said after his team’s 4-0 win. In the first half, they were super organized, and we did not adjust to what they were giving us, and we were trying to force things a little too much.”
In fact, for the first 40 minutes of the game, No. 19 seeded Sailors gave the home team everything they could handle on the pitch with the Cougars holding a narrow 1-0 lead at the half thanks to a goal by freshman Catherine Rapp who was set up by a pass from sophomore Jocelin Zimmerer 17 minutes into the contest.
“We are a team that fights to the end,” Sailors goalkeeper Caroline Lupori said after the game. “No matter what the scoreboard says I think we all still have the same amount of want to win it. I think today we should be satisfied mostly because we made it all the way to Round 2 of the playoffs, and we fought all the way.”
That fight was on display in the second half as the Sailors just missed the mark on several scoring opportunities including shots from Lilli Armstrong and Sydney Graham.
But the Cougars proved to be too much down the stretch and were able to take advantage of two corner kicks to gain the upper hand.
Evergreen’s Luisa Weiner, one of two seniors on the Evergreen team, was able to head a corner into the back of the Sailors net to give her team a two-goal advantage 54 minutes into the game.
Then Cougars player Avery Westgard found the corner kicks with her head, knocking the ball toward the Steamboat goal. The ball bounced off a Steamboat defender as she attempted to clear it but ended up in the back of the net, making the score 3-0.
Evergreen put the game away 10 minutes later when sophomore Mayla Stewart made an outside run behind the Sailors defense before crossing it to Rapp who collected her second goal of the game.
The loss marked the end of the Sailors’ season. It’s one that Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann said will leave a lasting impression because of the way the players on this team bonded as a family.
“The group that we had in 2019 is something that we never really experienced before. It was amazing that you have 22 players, and for the majority of the games, every one of those 22 players got really, really involved in the game,” Bohlmann. “In soccer there is a tipping point that if you make a lot of changes it can disrupt the rhythm and the flow of the game. That was different with this team — every player that came off the bench elevated the game throughout the course of the season.”
Steamboat finished the season in third place in the Western Slope League with a 9-3 league record. The Sailors posted a 12-5 overall record that includes a 6-1 victory over Pueblo County in the opening round of the state playoffs.
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