Season kicks off for soccer team

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— The first true test for the Steamboat Springs girls soccer team takes place today, when the Sailors head southeast to Littleton for a triple-header.

The Sailors will be competing in the Littleton tourney, which runs through Saturday.

Today, Steamboat plays Fruita at 5:30 p.m. before taking on Littleton at 7 p.m. Steamboat plays Standley Lake at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

The Sailors are hoping to come out of Littleton with a better outing than last season. They lost two of three games at the same tourney last year as they fell to Littleton and Standley Lake. Their lone win in the tourney came against Conifer.

The Sailors have not played a game this season, though they competed in a scrimmage against Douglas County last week. Steamboat was scheduled to take part in three scrimmages in Douglas County last week, but two of them were canceled due to snow. Steamboat fought to a scoreless tie against Douglas County during a 50-minute exhibition, though head coach Jim Dudley said the team showed a lot of promise.

"We went to the ball hard," Dudley said. "Our skills were right there. It probably gives me a bigger boost of confidence than it does for (the team).

"I don't think they realize how big Douglas County is."

The Huskies, who compete in the 5A classification, have about 2000 students enrolled in their high school. About 600 students are enrolled at Steamboat.

Sailors assistant coach Jon Hawes said it was difficult to try to assess the team's performance in Douglas County last Saturday because of the sloppy conditions.

"It was windy and snowing on the field," Hawes said. "It's hard to get a good judge on the quality of Douglas County as well as our own potential."

Though league competition does not begin for about two weeks, Dudley said the games will be a good test for his players.

"It just gives us an opportunity to play a number of games and to play some good quality competition," he said.

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