Steamboat Springs The Palisade Bulldogs moved into second place in the Western Slope Conference on Saturday after handing the uninspired Sailors a 3-0 loss in Palisade.
"We are not making any excuses, but we were real flat," Sailors assistant coach John Cardillo said.
Cardillo said the Bulldogs scored twice in the first 10 minutes of the game and added another score shortly before the end of the first half. The league-leading Sailors would never threaten the lead and wrapped up the regular season on the wrong side of a 3-0 shutout.
Steamboat, which clinched the league title Thursday night in an emotional game with a win over Battle Mountain, finished a half-game ahead of Palisade in the Western Slope standings with a 7-2-1 record. Palisade was second at 7-3 and Glenwood finished the season in third place with a 6-4 record. All three teams, plus Battle Mountain, will advance to the playoffs.
Palisade's Jimmy Temple opened the scoring against Steamboat Saturday when he netted the first goal of the contest just over a minute into the game. Jon Brown assisted the goal. Brown netted the first of his two first-half goals eight minutes into the contest.
Todd Bondvrant stopped all 16 of Steamboat's shots on goal anchoring the Palisade defense. Bondvrant was especially strong in the second half as the Sailors tried to pull back in to the game.
"To give some credit to our team the guys came out in the second half and really applied the pressure," Cardillo said.
But with a three-goal lead, Palisade was able to pack the defensive side of the field and play a very protective style of soccer. The loss will have no effect on the Sailors' position in the league standings as they move toward the first playoff game this week in Steamboat. Cardillo said the Sailors will face the No. 4 seed out of the Skyline League, most likely Mountain View or Northridge, and that the game is tentatively scheduled for Friday night at the high school.