Sailors girls soccer wants to return to the playoffs
The Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team took to Gardner Field on Monday, March 8, despite chilly temperatures. Monday marked one week of practice for the team, which is ready to make the push to playoffs.
Last year, the team had incredible success, making it to the second round of the playoffs. While the 2022 Sailors want to replicate that achievement, they’re trying not to compare themselves to last year’s team.
“I think the team is looking really good this year,” said senior Sam Campbell. “We have a ton of individual talent as well as just a close bond with each other, especially with the momentum from last season. We had a lot of success and all the girls were super close. A big thing for us is keeping that momentum.”
Campbell is excited to be able to spend more time with the junior varsity and younger players, which wasn’t allowed under pandemic protocols.
Whether they are avoiding putting pressure on themselves or not, the Colorado High School Activities Association preseason poll puts the Sailors in the No. 9 spot.
A lot of key players are back on the pitch this year, including goalkeeper Campbell, scorers Darby Martinez and Reina Bomberski, as well as a slew of strong senior defenders in Courtney Vargas, Annie Hager, Peyton Rand and Caroline Baur.
Defense was a strength last year and certainly will be again. Baur thinks the team needs to work on attacking on offense, based on what she observed during club play.
“I think we really need to get that dialed in, because our defense is strong but we need to find a way to make goals happen,” Baur said.
The team worked on advancing the ball into the attacking third in practice on Monday to address that issue.
A strength of the team is mindset. Everyone is on the same page and shares the same goal: get to the playoffs.
“We all take it really seriously and we all have a common goal. We want to make it to playoffs and we want to make it far,” Baur said. “I think our coaches are on the same page. On day one, we’re saying we want a successful championship season.”
March 12 – vs. Palisade, 11 a.m.
March 18 – at Denver North, 5:30 p.m.
March 24 – vs. Eagle Valley, 6 p.m.
March 29 – at Summit, 6 p.m.
March 31 – vs. Vail Mountain, 6 p.m.
April 2 – at Glenwood Springs, 11 a.m.
April 5 – at Battle Mountain, 6 p.m.
April 9 – at Centaurus, 11 a.m.
April 12 – vs. Summit, 6 p.m.
April 14 – vs. Glenwood Springs, 6 p.m.
April 26 – vs. Aspen, 6 p.m.
April 29 – at Durango, 3 p.m.
April 30 – at Palisade, 6 p.m.
May 5 – vs. Battle Mountain, 6 p.m.
May 7 – at Eagle Valley, 6 p.m.
In order to get there, Steamboat will have to be the best in the Western Slope conference. Hager thinks Battle Mountain and Glenwood Springs will be the greatest challengers en route to that goal.
Steamboat’s one league loss came against Battle Mountain, who won 2-1 due to an error and a quick goal that came from that mistake. The 2022 team does not want to relive that.
The season begins at home at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, against Palisade. The Sailors will take on Glenwood Springs and Battle Mountain on the road in the same critical week in early April and will conclude their home schedule against Battle Mountain on May 5.
Shelby Reardon is the assistant editor at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach her, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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