Steamboat Springs Progression has replaced patience as the magic word for the Steamboat Springs girls soccer team following a dominating 5-0 win over Rifle Saturday.
Early season indoor practices mixed with on-field inconsistencies caused the Sailors to begin their year slower than hoped, evidenced by a displeasing 1-1 draw to the same Bears squad in the first game between the two schools.
"Earlier on in the season the often-used word was patience," coach Rob Bohlmann said. "They were going to start progressing. It was going to happen, and now we're finding ourselves."
Senior Julie Wernig started the Sailors off with a goal around the 10:00-mark of the first half. She connected from 27 yards out and sent the shot flying over the head and hands of Rifle's goalie. Fellow senior Lia Utu finished up the first-half scoring with a breakaway goal off a pass from senior Cassidy Kurtz.
In the second half, a similar pattern of well-executed offense mixed with solid team defense aided the Sailors in posting the easy shutout over the Bears.
At around the 50:00-mark, Utu rang up another goal and followed that with two more at around the 60:00- and 65:00-marks, totaling four on the afternoon. Ashley Idzahl and Traci Lucas were credited with two assists.
Wernig said the most pleasing aspect of the Sailors' offense on Saturday was the manner in which it was run.
Every goal was generated from great field vision and solid team passing. The play of goalie Kelly Asbury and the defense in front of her wasn't too shabby either.
"We were just on," she said. "Everyone contributed. Usually we are a second-half or first-half team. Both halves were great (Saturday)."
And in Utu's opinion, Steamboat picked an opportune point in its schedule to accumulate confidence and momentum.
Spring break indicates the approaching end of the season, and at 4-1-1 in league play, the Sailors are gelling at the right moment.
"The win was awesome because it led us to our break with no regrets," Utu said. "That was the important thing."
Wernig said the week off will provide team members a break from soccer, but everyone is expected to maintain her conditioning and come back in shape. Those remaining in Steamboat, such as herself, plan on getting together to keep their skills sharp.
The Sailors will resume play April 23 at home against the Moffat County Bulldogs, kicking off a week of what Bohlmann calls a "festival" of home games to finish the regular season.