Steamboat Springs It took less than two minutes for Steamboat Springs High School junior Anya Allen to shake off the effects of a weeklong layoff and give her team the edge against Moffat County Tuesday.
Her goal was the first of 10 for the Steamboat team, which was playing its first game since returning from spring break. Allen netted two more scores to finish the first half with a hat trick in the game, which was played at Dudley Field.
Meanwhile, the Moffat County Bulldogs, who fell to 0-7 in league play, failed to unleash a shot on Steamboat goalkeeper Kelly Asbury.
"It was pretty quick," Allen said of the goal. "It was a nice way to open up the game, especially after the break."
The goal was assisted by Tracy Lucas and set a tone for the first half. Several minutes later, Allen scored again, this time on an unassisted effort.
As a team, Steamboat was tenacious in the first half, firing more than 30 shots on the Moffat County goalkeeper.
Jada Hastings did her best to turn away the Steamboat attack but surrendered goals later in the half to Nikki Garth, who was assisted by Andrea Len and Lindsay Ellis, who was assisted by Garth.
Allen also scored the Sailors' final goal of the half after getting an assist from Julie Wernig.
The offensive assault gave the Sailors a 5-0 lead at the end of the first 40 minutes of play and allowed Sailors head coach Rob Bohlmann to make a few moves to help some of his top players stay fresh during what will prove to be a busy week.
In the second half, the Sailors mixed things up a bit, but the result was pretty much the same. Steamboat added five more scores on 15 shots.
Lia Utu opened things up for the Sailors and was followed by teammates Melissa White, Ashley Idzahl and Asbury. White added another goal late in the half to wrap up Steamboat's scoring. Utu and Katie Liefer both had assists during the scoring spree.
"Steamboat has an excellent team," Moffat County coach Tom St. Louis said after the game. "They deserve to do well in our league and they should do well in the state."
St. Louis said the Sailors, now 5-1-1 in league play, came out hard and played a solid game against the less-experienced Bulldogs.
While some coaches might not want to play a game like this, St. Louis thinks it will help his young Craig program to grow in the future.
"I think our players saw the way the game is supposed to be played and hopefully they will learn from it," he said. "We are trying to get a summer program going so that we can play a more year-round schedule."
Bohlmann was also happy with the win but realizes his players still need to work hard if they want to be in the running for the league title at the end of the week.
The Sailors are scheduled to face Battle Mountain at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Broomfield at 3 p.m. Friday and Palisade at 11 a.m. Saturday. Two of the contests will have major league implications.
All of the games will be played at home, but Bohlmann said the schedule would be a physical challenge for his players.
"Today was a solid effort by our team. I'm surprised at how well the players have come back from spring break and at how they were able to pick up right where they left off before the break," Bohlmann said. "I think we have taken a positive step forward, now we just have to keep it up."
Allen said she, and her teammates, feel good about the squad's return from spring break. Now they will shift their focus to the next test Battle Mountain.
"It's tough to get back in the swing of things with just one day of practice," Allen said. "But it's good to be back at it."