Steamboat soccer thrives on cohesiveness |

Steamboat soccer thrives on cohesiveness

Luke Graham

Steamboat Springs High School soccer players return from a run Wednesday afternoon up the Spring Creek Trail.

— Come Sunday, the Steamboat Springs High School soccer team will learn just how steep a climb it faces in the Class 4A playoffs.

The Sailors most likely will be the fourth seed out of the Western Slope League. They’ll play on the road against one of the top teams in the state, and they’ll undoubtedly be heavy underdogs.

But none of that really matters to coach Rob Bohlmann. Not with this team.

Bohlmann acknowledges the seeding and the opponent now are out of Steamboat’s control. The veteran coach says if there’s one thing that matters, it’s how well the Sailors have played as a team.

“Everyone feels they have left it on the field,” Bohlmann said. “They’ve done what’s in their control. That’s all you can ask. The spirit within our camp is good. That’s from a team that probably will finish fourth. What else can you ask for?”

Certainly Steamboat had its chances to finish better. Each of the team’s league losses was competitive.

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The Sailors have played a controlling type of game this season, but they just haven’t capitalized on opportunities. It’s the team’s cohesiveness on the field that has the Sailors believing seeding won’t really matter come postseason play.

“I really believe on any given day we can compete with any team in the state,” Steamboat goalkeeper Connor Birch said. “That’s because we have that passion.”

In league play, Steamboat suffered enough one-goal losses to make any team sick. If a few plays here and there went Steamboat’s way, the fourth-place finish could have been much higher.

“This is a team of a lot of character,” Bohlmann said. “In the world right now where these guys are, for a high school-aged player, it’s pretty typical that it’s ‘me in this world and here I go.’ So having that ‘we’ versus ‘me’ mentality isn’t something that is innate.

“With this group, it’s pretty innate. You have to give it to those guys. They are pretty awesome to have that sense of team, and with that characteristic that’s the one main ingredient in a successful team.”

Already assured a playoff spot, Steamboat wraps up its regular season at 4 p.m. today at Moffat County.

“It’s just us playing our game and playing how we know how to play,” junior Grant Murray said. “We just have to play smart and finish strong.”