Steamboat soccer team looking for big win over Palisade

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— Steamboat Springs soccer team takes a four-game winning streak with it to Palisade Saturday, as the Sailors square off with the struggling 'Dogs at the Peach Bowl.

The Sailors, who have scored shutout wins in their past four games, meet a Bulldogs team that has managed only one victory in four games.

Palisade played Basalt Thursday, though a score for that game was not immediately available.

Saturday's game with Steamboat begins at 11 a.m. at the Peach Bowl, which is nearby Palisade High School.

Though the Steamboat team has held six of its opponents without a score this year, goalkeeper Jannike Combs says the Sailors are more concerned with their success in the win-loss column.

Steamboat enters the game with a 6-1-1 record and a top-10 ranking in the state 4A class by the Rocky Mountain News.

"Our main goal is always to win, but a shutout is always great," said Combs, who alternates at the goalkeeper position with Kelly Asbury.

Jim Dudley, Sailors head coach, said the defensive play by his team has been a driving force behind its undefeated league record.

Steamboat, which is 4-0 in the league, has allowed three goals in eight games.

The offense also has guided the team to its first-place standing in the Western Slope League.

Through eight games, Steamboat averages 2.9 goals.

Liz Masterson, Andrea Len, Nikki Garth and Julie Wernig have been a big part of the Sailors' offensive attack. In a recent game against Moffat County, Len booted in two goals en route to a 7-0 victory.

Though the Sailors lead the conference in goals per game, Dudley says his team has missed a number of key shots.

"I'd really like to see us get a little more loose and score a little more," Dudley said.

Steamboat will go up against a Palisade squad that recently fought to a scoreless tie with Rifle.

The 'Dogs are led by Kacee Keenan at the goalkeeper position and Kendra Nash and Lyndsi Brumback on offense.

Sean Kennedy, who coaches the 'Dogs, said the Sailors' 1-0 victory over the Rifle Bears has given his players confidence.

"I was intrigued with that 1-0 game they had against Rifle," Kennedy said. "If the defense holds up, then (we're) always in the ball game."

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