‘It was shocking’: Steamboat girls soccer ends season with loss in state quarterfinals

Mullen's Brooklynn Rich gets a bounce by Sailors goalkeeper Sam Campbell during a second-round playoff game between the No. 6 Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team and No. 11 Mullen on Saturday, May 14 at Gardner Field. The win over Mullen sent Steamboat to Durango for a quarterfinal matchup that the Demons won 4-1.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

With 10 minutes remaining in a state quarterfinal game against No. 3 Durango, the No. 6 Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team was down 1-0. The Demons had led by a goal since the seventh minute of the game but Steamboat was still very much in it.

Steamboat plays well from behind, overcoming many deficits in its incredible 2022 season.

But, with 9:48 left, Durango scored.

Then, with 5:59 to play, Durango scored again.

The Sailors hearts sank, knowing a comeback would be nearly impossible, the season was minutes away from concluding.

Steamboat scored one on a penalty kick with two minutes to play, but in the final seconds of the game, the Demons added another goal to seal the 4-1 victory on Tuesday, May 17.

“It was kind of shocking to see how quickly the season could end,” said senior Macy Reisman. “We knew it could but we really were confident that we had more season ahead of us. We were definitely shocked and upset, but also so grateful for the season we’d had”

Senior Peyton Rand said the whole team had a gut feeling that it wasn’t ending the season Tuesday night in Durango, but unfortunately, the universe and the Demons had other plans.

With the clock ticking and the Sailors just needing one goal to keep the game going, coach Rob Bohlmann moved up senior Courtney Vargas to try to initiate some offense.

“You start taking more chances throwing numbers forward and shift some personnel around,” Bohlmann said. “We pushed Courtney Vargas forward in that effort to try to tie up the game and as we all know, Courtney, she is a rock at center back. We took that chance last week against Mullen and it paid off.”

Bringing Vargas off the back line did generate some movement on the Sailors offensive end, but it also left Sailors senior Sam Campbell slightly more vulnerable in goal.

“I don’t know if I would say they ended up being the better team,” Rand said. “I believe it was a good fight between both of us. We’re both great teams. I can say that with every bit of my body, that we are both great teams. I think once we started believing that we weren’t really truly there. That we might not have what it takes.”

The loss concludes the Sailors season after an incredible 12-2 regular season that earned them a second consecutive Western Slope League title and the No. 6 seed in the Colorado High School Activities Association 4A playoffs.

The team will graduate 10 seniors in Cambell, Rand, Reisman, Vargas, Annie Hager, Darby Martinez, Ellery Hodges, Caroline Baur, Ellie Blair and Ashley Anderson.

“The sting of a loss and the elation of a win is super short lived,” Bohlmann said. “What these girls provided for each other is something that will stay with them for the remaining days of their lives. Four o’clock in the afternoon was a special time. The culture and the vibe these guys had for each other. Yes it was about soccer, but it was also about being a part of a group that was very, very special.”

Rand said the team absolutely loved each other and Reisman said that having that paired with support from all sides, made this season special.

“When we’d win a game and seeing the student section the biggest it’s ever been for a girls soccer game or our parents driving all the way down to Durango, and the support within the team too,” Reisman said. “Rob has been such a good coach and leader this whole year and really led our team in such a good way and supported us no matter what.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.