Steamboat Springs It took 15 shots on goal and 53 minutes before the Sailors found the cage in Thursday's matchup with the Battle Mountain Huskies. But the first goal led to a 10-minute scoring storm that left the Sailors up four and the Huskies shut out.
The (4-0-1, 5-2-1) Sailors kept at first-place in the Western Slope League when they beat the Huskies 4-0 in their homecoming game at Gardner Field.
Despite out shooting the Huskies 11 to 6 in the first half, it was Todd Bell's goal in the second half's 28-minute mark to get the first Sailors score.
"We spent 60 minutes trying to earn the four goals we made in 10 minutes," Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann said.
Bell found the cage first from a free kick into the box by Jason Sirois.
After a foul from Battle Mountain's Kyle Netzeband, Sirois kicked a high ball that Bell reflected into the cage's right corner off his chest.
"I knew I had to put one in to get momentum going," Bell said. "Once we started off gaining momentum, we just took it from there."
Less than five minutes later, junior Kyle Nelson found himself one-on-one with a Battle Mountain defender.
Nelson, coming up center field, had Rodney Beall running up the right flank.
With Beall open in front of goal, Nelson made a clean pass to Beall, who put it in for a 2-0 score.
"I got the ball, put my head down and kicked as hard as I could, and it blew by the keeper," Beall said about his first varsity goal.
In the last week, Bohlmann moved Beall from sweeper to right back, a change that gave an extra push for the Sailors attack.
"He helps us out with the attack; we're not necessarily losing a defender," Bohlmann said.
"From the back, he can push forward and join the attack. But, on the same hand, he gets back and helps defend.
That has given us that much more of a dangerous attack."
It took little more than a minute after Beall's shot before the Sailors found the cage for a third goal.
This time, it was Mike Rinn who set up the play.
He came into the box and kicked the ball past the Huskies defense towards the right post where Sirois waited to drive it into the cage.
Rinn responded again at the 17-minute mark when he kicked a straight hard shot into the Huskies' goal on the Sailors' second penalty corner of the night.
That left the Sailors up 4-0 in less than 10 minutes.
"After the first and second goal, the waters just parted. It was a great effort as a group," Bohlmann said.
Coming into the Battle Mountain game, Steamboat had expected a tough game against leading Huskies' scorers Scott Ligouri, Raul Chavarri and Peter Brown.
But Sailors goalie Kelly Carlson was able to shut down the Huskies offense as he recorded the shutout for the game, making 12 saves.
The Huskies' keeper also recorded 12 saves.
The Sailors next matchup will be Saturday against the Rifle Bears the team they split their game with on Sept. 15.
Beall said the team plans to have a light practice today and enjoy tonight's homecoming festivities at the Sailors football game.
"We're going to be able to stay focused. It's a pretty big league game," Beall said.
"We'll recover from little injuries and just prepare mentally and physically before playing them.