Summit hands Steamboat soccer team second straight loss
Steamboat Springs — In the past eight days, members of the Steamboat Springs High School soccer team have faced a grueling schedule that included three Western Slope opponents and a non-conference game against one of the best teams in the state.
“This has been a big stretch with three of the four games being very, very strong opponents,” coach Rob Bohlmann said. “We have also been dealing with some key, mid-season injuries. It’s been a very challenging stretch.”
The Sailors, 4-2 in league and 6-3 overall, went 2-2 through that stretch and fell from first to fourth in league standings. Bohlmann, however, said the top of the standings in the Western Slope League are very tight, with a single game separating top-ranked Battle Mountain (5-1) and fourth-place Steamboat. Second-place Eagle Valley (4-1) and third-place Summit (2-1) have not completed the first half of the season.
“Moving forward, things are looking good,” Bohlmann said. “We have some time to recover, and we can still get back to the things that we were doing well,” Bohlmann said.
He is also confident the team will rebound from back-to-back losses.
On Tuesday, the Sailors fell to league-leading Battle Mountain at home 3-0, and the team lost again 4-2 on the road against Summit on Thursday.
“Summit was good last night,” Bohlmann said. “We were good, but in the end, it came down to effectiveness in both penalty areas.”
Bohlmann said in the first half, the Sailors battled not only a solid Summit team, but also a steady wind that influenced play throughout the game. Summit won the toss, and took the wind in the first half.
“The wind was pretty steady the whole evening,” Bohlmann said. “In the end, was it the difference? I would have to say no. But it was definitely part of the equation.”
The Tigers struck early, scoring on a corner kick only three minutes into the contest. They then extended the lead to 2-0 on a strong shot from outside the penalty area 20 minutes into the first half.
Steamboat attempted to climb back into the game when senior Cruz Archuleta was able to get behind the Summit defense and found the back of the net to make the score 2-1 with 10 minutes left in the half.
But the celebration was short-lived.
With only 5 seconds remaining in the half, Steamboat gave up an own goal, giving Summit a 3-1 lead, and the momentum with just 40 minutes remaining. Summit added another goal to pull away 4-1. Steamboat got a late goal from Will McConnell, but the Sailors never really threatened the lead.
Steamboat will get a much-needed break this weekend before facing Glenwood Springs at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The game marks the beginning of a long home stretch that includes games against Palisade Oct. 1, Rifle Oct. 4, Eagle Valley Oct. 11 and Summit Oct. 18. The team’s final, regular season game of the season will come against Battle Mountain on Oct. 20 in Edwards.
“Last night, we only had 13 players suited up for the game,” Bohlmann said. “With all of our injuries and all of the players that were unavailable, I think things went petty well, when you consider what we faced in this latest stretch.”
Bohlmann said his team was without Ben Andersen, Marat Washburn and Jake Berry for all four games and without Will Bearskins for two of the four games.
Bohlmann hopes the team will be able to heal the next few days, adding the group will work on defending set pieces, ensuring the team is focused on good ball possession and fine tuning its efficiency in terms of finishing its scoring opportunities. Despite the outcome of the last two games, the coach remains optimistic about his team’s chances and feels good with where the team is sitting halfway thought the season.
“I would never question the effort or character of these guys,” Bohlmann said. “Not once in the past couple of games have I seen them drop their heads. They just kept playing hard, and they just kept battling. Every team faces adversity at some point, and I’m really proud of the way these guys have handled it.”
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