Monday, September 18, 2000
Steamboat Springs Sailors boys soccer team head coach Rob Bohlmann considers the up-and-down Rifle Bears to be one of the most dangerous teams in the conference this season.
So there is no doubt the members of the Steamboat Springs High School team will be on top of their game tonight when Rifle comes to town for the third conference game of the season. The varsity duel will begin at 4 p.m. at Dudley Field.
"They are 1-1 in the league, but I think they will be one of the teams contending for the title down the line," Bohlmann said. "They are a very athletic group and I expect them to be even tougher than last year."
Steamboat will enter the game with a 2-0 record after knocking off teams from Moffat County on Sept. 14 and Palisade on Sept. 16.
The Sailors scored two goals midway through the second half of the contest in Grand Junction to win the Palisade game. Goals came from Jason Flower and Mike Rinn. Flower assisted Rinn on the second score.
Meanwhile, Rifle will be trying to shake off the effects of a 2-0 loss to Glenwood Springs Sept. 16. The game was played in Rifle and it was the Bears first conference loss of the season.
"It was a very flat, uninspired game by both teams," Rifle coach Tom Taucher. "It was surprising that we were that flat since the game was on our home field."
Taucher said his group is very young this season and, at times, the inexperience shows on the field. He thinks that was the case last weekend.
The Bears, however, should not be taken lightly. Rifle knocked off No. 9 Battle Mountain 5-2 in its conference opener last week.
"Any team in our league can beat any other team on any given Sunday, so to speak," Taucher said. "As far as talent goes, I think Steamboat is still the class of the league, but I don't think they will go unbeaten this season. They're going to have to be up for every game."
The Bears bring just five seniors to the field and a couple of underclassmen with varsity playing experience.
Offensively, the team is led by striker Martino Pedulla. Pedulla leads the team with five goals this season and is a big scoring threat from almost anywhere on the field.
Junior Louie Savage is the cement that holds the Bears midfield together and senior sweeper Tommy George is the anchor of the Rifle defense.
The final line of defense, however, will come in the form of goalkeeper Nate Worley. Worley is a senior, but missed all of last season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.
Taucher said the goalie has been inconsistent in games this season and he thinks it may be a hangover from the injury. However, when Worley is focused on his game the coach said he is very hard to beat.
To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org