Weekend Prep Wrap: SSHS soccer keeps finding a way
Steamboat Springs — This wasn’t the best of weeks for Routt County sports. There were strong performances and near upsets, but there were also a few missed opportunities. At least none of the losses look to be crippling, and this week will provide everyone a chance at redemption with most regionals only a week or so off.
The Steamboat Springs High School boys’ soccer team got to play in a professional stadium Saturday and won on a last-minute goal. Most likely, the Sailors had a lot better weekend than most of us. SSHS beat Centaurus 1-0 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the home of the Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids. The win itself wasn’t a big deal, but considering the venue and how it happened, it may as well have been a playoff game.
In a defensive battle, it was senior Charlie Beurskens who scored the game’s lone goal in the final minute, a brilliant shot from a respectable distance that managed to float over the goalie’s head and into the net. Couple the win with a 6-0 shellacking of Delta during senior night Thursday, and the Sailors seem to have put the 4-2 loss at Eagle Valley on Tuesday behind them.
SSHS has only one game remaining in the regular season, a Thursday road trip to Battle Mountain. At 12-2 overall and 9-2 in the Western Slope, if the Sailors win that game, they win the league. A loss means Battle Mountain, also 12-2, will take sole ownership of the league crown. Also in the mix for Steamboat is a chance to possibly host a regional game next week.
The Soroco High School volleyball team lost 3-1 to West Grand on Saturday in Oak Creek. There is no way around the fact they didn’t play very well. While the final result was not pretty, it could have been a lot worse if it weren’t for Soroco senior Lucy Carlson.
Carlson, the team’s best offensive threat and dynamite blocker, has been outstanding most of the season, but her play was especially notable on Saturday. The tall redhead was the catalyst to most of Soroco’s runs, and she could do no wrong at the end of the second set, a 25-23 win for the Rams.
As strong as Carlson was, she did need some help from the rest of her team. Even with the loss, Soroco looks to be in a good spot at 8-7 overall with an important league match coming at home Tuesday against Vail Mountain.
What we learned
It’s been a rough year for area football teams, but the recent play is more than enough reason not to give up on them yet. Steamboat football nearly pulled a stunner against host Eagle Valley, 6-1, on Friday, falling 28-21. In that game, the Sailors led 21-0 late in the second quarter, but a 46-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Eagle Valley right before half started a big rally from the Devils.
It’s probably a tough loss for Steamboat to choke down, but it’s also good to see them fighting. Entering Friday’s game, the Sailors had only scored 24 combined points through six games, and nearly doubled their season total in one half against Eagle Valley. Maybe that’s a sign Steamboat, 2-5, can make something out of their final three games. Next, they host mighty Rifle on Friday.
Also worthy of a shout out is Hayden football. The Tigers lost 48-14 to Plateau Valley, but it wasn’t a complete cakewalk for the Cowboys. Some unfortunate interceptions by Hayden and big-play touchdowns by Plateau Valley were costly, but take those plays out, and it’s a close game. The Tigers offense looked really good at times, and managed to move the ball up and down the field. The improvement is obvious for Hayden (1-5), but it still might be too much to ask for a second win this season with Norwood and Soroco the only games remaining.
Regular seasons will wrap up in soccer this week, volleyball next week and cross country teams head to regionals on Friday. Steamboat soccer at Battle Mountain on Thursday is going to be a classic and all area volleyball teams hope to build some momentum before regionals. SSHS volleyball, coming off a tough loss to Delta on Saturday, needs to take care of business this week as the Western Slope title is still theirs to lose.
The best home game this week is likely to come on Saturday when Soroco football hosts Plateau Valley on senior night. The Rams lost 33-26 to the Cowboys on Sept. 12 in a non-league match up, but they also didn’t play very well that day. Soroco is fresh off a bye and a 42-28 win against Rangely the week before, and they’ll make it very interesting against Plateau Valley.
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Thursday, Sept. 23