Sailors soccer stays perfect, serves Vail Mountain its first loss
Thursday night’s game served as an important benchmark for the Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team. The matchup against Vail Mountain tested if their 4-0 start was because they were playing weaker teams, or because the Sailors are truly great.
A half dozen goals, and a hat trick from junior Reina Bomberski, earned the 6-2 win and confirmed that Steamboat is indeed a very good team. Bomberski isn’t ready to call the Sailors a great team, though.
“(My confidence level) is good. I don’t want to say high, but it’s up there,” she said. “That was a good feeling game.”
Essentially, Steamboat made Vail Mountain look like a mediocre team, but the Gore Rangers are good. Through the first four games, they were undefeated, scoring 22 goals and allowing only four. They also shutout Battle Mountain 5-0.
However, the Sailors very quickly emerged as the better team.
Steamboat’s grip on the game tightened as the first half progressed. The opening minutes were back-and-forth, but soon the Sailors started maintaining possession. They were executing organized passes and making methodical movements towards goal. Meanwhile, Vail Mountain was fighting for touches and struggling to string together any sort of offense.
Ten minutes in, if there was any question as to whether the visiting Gore Rangers had any control left, Gwyn Jamison cleared it up. She used a strong boot from the 25-yard line to put Steamboat up 1-0.
Steamboat kept the Gore Rangers goalkeeper busy, setting up scoring chance after scoring chance. Seniors Courtney Vargas, Darby Martinez and Ellery Hodges each had chances but it was Bomberski who broke through with 5:53 left in the half.
The home team had all the momentum, but a trip by Steamboat senior Ellie Blair in the corner of the box gave the Gore Rangers a penalty kick.
Gaby Gish took the shot and Sailors goalie Sam Campbell did everything she could. She followed the shot to her left, but the ball was out of reach, even for the lengthy keeper.
Maybe Vail Mountain thought they would take that momentum into the second half, but Steamboat set them straight.
In the opening moments, Martinez and Vargas put up shots that made fans gasp with anticipation. They were high and wide, but solid shots nonetheless. At that rate, something was sure to go in.
Martinez made it even easier, drawing a penalty kick, which Jamison took and nailed with an arc to the top right corner.
The goals kept coming. Five minutes later, Bomberski got her second goal, heading in a powerful free kick off the foot of Vargas. Bomberski completed the hattrick with a line drive past the Gore Rangers keeper. Martinez scooped the ball off the end line after the Vail Mountain goalie failed to control it, and passed to the wide open Bomberski in front.
“I’ve never felt a connection like I felt with Darby up front. I think we play super well together. It’s magic up there,” Bomberski. “Tonight that was our goal, to break their back line. We heard that was their weakness and we attacked that.”
Now, the Sailors are 5-0. Steamboat started last year undefeated through six games before dropping a tough 2-1 loss to Battle Mountain. It was the only regular season loss for the Sailors, who made it to the 4A state quarterfinals last year where they lost to Evergreen, 3-0.
The Sailors aren’t spending too much time comparing themselves to last year, but they certainly like that this season is going just as well, so far. The next true test comes in Glenwood Springs on Saturday, April 2 and then Battle Mountain on Tuesday, April 5.
“I think we’re just going to pretend like this didn’t happen or matter,” Vargas said. “We want to play every game like it’s an even match and we know that Battle Mountain lost to Vail Mountain so that could get in a lot of our heads, but I think we just head into Glenwood and Battle Mountain hungry like we were today.”
Steamboat Springs 6, Vail Mountain 2
SS 2 4
VM 1 1
SS – Gwyn Jamison, 29:18
SS – Reina Bomberski, 5:53
VM – No. 22. PK, 5:28
SS – Jamison, PK, 33:00
SS – Bomberski (Vargas), 28:00
SS – Darby Martinez, 19:57
VM – Goal, 19:25
SS – Bomberski (Martinez), 16:41
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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