Wednesday, March 27, 2002
Steamboat Springs After facing top 5A teams over the weekend, Steamboat's girls soccer team will get to ease into its league schedule when it goes up against Moffat County at 4 p.m. today.
As defending league champions, the Sailors will kick off league play in Bulldog territory against a team that finished at the bottom of the league last year and was handed 7-0 and 10-0 losses by the Sailors a year ago.
"I expect Steamboat to be two of the toughest games of the year," Bulldogs coach Tom St. Louis said. "They have a really solid soccer program over there. It's going to be a real tough game, but you have to play the best to be the best."
The Bulldogs will bring back a team with eight starters, including junior goalie Kelly Howle, one of the top keepers in the state. St. Louis also expects major contributions from senior midfielder Brandy Sherwood and junior defenders Jeni Bamford and Jenna Beckerman.
Before heading into spring break last week, Moffat County lost its season opener to Olathe, the only game the Bulldogs have played this season. Like the Sailors, the Bulldogs' schedule was delayed by winter weather.
"I wish we had another game before playing Steamboat; we're not doing our best coming out of spring break," St. Louis said.
Steamboat will be coming into today's matchup after opening its season with a 1-2 record at a tournament in Littleton last weekend.
Steamboat lost a close 1-0 game to Littleton and a 4-0 game to Boulder before beating Standley Lake 2-1 Saturday.
With two goals, senior forward Andrea Len led the team to its first victory. The Gators struck first with a goal in the first 10 minutes, but Len tied the game before the end of the half. With 15 minutes into the second half, Len found the net again for the game-winning goal.
The Sailors started off the season with a loss to Littleton. The Lions broke a 0-0 stalemate with 10 minutes left in the game as striker Mercy Adetoye knocked in a goal.
Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann said his team broke down defensively a few times in the Boulder game, which allowed for four goals in the first half.
With injuries keeping defenders Cassidy Kurtz and Lia Utu to limited time this weekend, the Sailors had to readjust their backfield. Julie Wernig, who usually plays center midfield, and junior Ashley Idzahl filled the gaping hole left by the two seniors with All-Conference honors.
With Kurtz and Utu out of the backfield, Bohlmann said goalie Kelly Asbury's experience contributed to a strong defense.
"She was solid in the goal. It was a strong presence. She made several key, key saves," he said.
Although Kurtz was out with an ankle injury and Utu with a strained quad, Bohlmann said both should be back for today's game against Moffat County.
"What we are going to be looking at is internal and not necessarily preparing for what our opponents are going to be doing. We our working on ourselves and our level of play. Our focus is on us," he said.
For its second league game, Steamboat will travel to Rifle Saturday. Returning a core group of last year's starters, the Bears are potential league title contenders.