Sailors ready for next game

Soccer team taking season step by step

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— One game at a time.

That has been the approach since the beginning of the season.

After defeating the Glenwood Demons 3-0 for the league title Tuesday, the Steamboat girls soccer team wasted little time celebrating.

"We're just looking forward to the next game," said Jill Wernig, a forward for the Sailors.

"Our eyes are set on Rifle. They think they still can beat us and we want to let them know that they really can't."

Wernig is so intense that she sometimes mutters to herself during the game.

With that mentality, Wernig and the Sailors have managed to dominate their competition, outscoring their Western Slope opponents by a margin of 46-1.

At 4 p.m. Thursday at Dudley Field, Steamboat plays host to the defending Western Slope champion Rifle Bears.

Rifle is still fighting to finish in the top three in the Western Slope, which would send them to the regional playoffs that start around May 5.

"They actually lost to Palisade (Tuesday)," said Sailors coach Jim Dudley. "So, this is kind of a must win for them. We would love to put them in their place."

The Sailors enter the contest with a nine-game winning streak. They are ranked No. 7 in the 4A Class with an 11-1-1 overall record.

Steamboat has two regular-season games remaining before it competes in a regional playoff game against the fourth-place team from the Tri-Valley/Northern League, which is the Skyline Falcons (6-6-0) at the moment.

The regional game will be played at home, and will likely fall on the same day as the high school prom, which is May 5.

Steamboat's game against Rifle will be a rematch from a March 31 contest at Rifle, in which the Sailors upended the Bears, 1-0.

Steamboat's Kelly Asbury will sit out Thursday's game with a strained hip flexor she suffered against Battle Mountain last Thursday. The junior goalkeeper is expected to be back for the playoffs.

Jannike Combs will man the fort Thursday.

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