Steamboat Springs A few weeks ago, soccer coach Rob Bohlmann moved Mike Holland and Devin Borvansky to the front of his offensive attack, and on Saturday, he saw it paid off.
Holland and Borvansky both scored in the Sailors' 2-1 win over the Palisade Bulldogs in the regular-season finale, which was played at Dudley field.
The score, however, was much closer than the game that was dominated by Steamboat. The Bulldogs scored with less than 20 seconds remaining in the contest when Sean O'Hare took advantage of a lapse in Steamboat's defense to net Palisade's only score of the game. Most of Steamboat's starters were already sitting on the bench when the goal was scored.
"Late in the season we found a good combination with Mike Holland and Devin Borvansky up top," Bohlmann said. "Mike has scored a couple of really good goals in the past couple of games and created other opportunities. That's a new combination up top that we may be looking at in the postseason."
Palisade got a front-row seat to the Holland-Borvansky exhibition in Saturday's game.
Just a few minutes into the contest, Holland netted a spectacular goal with a hard shot from well past the 18-yard line that found the far right corner of the net.
The score put the Sailors up 1-0 and fueled an intense first-half effort by the local team.
Then roughly 25 minutes into the first half, Holland struck again, this time with a perfectly placed pass to Borvansky. The Steamboat junior took the pass and found a soft spot in the Palisade defense. He was pretty much unchallenged as he raced up the right side of the field, and then beat a defender in the goalkeeper's box before firing a hard shot past the reach of Palisade's Todd Bondurant.
"I went down, cut it back and went to goal and scored over his left shoulder with my left foot," Borvansky said. "That was solid."
Holland said Borvansky made really great runs all day, and this one resulted in the Sailors' 2-0 lead at the end of the first half.
The goal turned out to be all the offense Steamboat would need to secure a win. In the second half, the Sailors' intensity faded as the team stumbled through the final minutes of the game en route to the win.
It was something Bohlmann wasn't happy to see as the Sailors begin to prepare for the playoffs, which are expected to open next weekend at home.
"The second half was not sharp at all," Bohlmann said. "The underlying message is that as we look into the postseason, we have to demand 80 minutes of solid soccer. We haven't been able to accomplish that and it has been one of our biggest problems this season."
The only thing the Sailors knew for sure at the end of Saturday's contest (Glenwood Springs wasn't scheduled to play Moffat County until 5:30 p.m.) was they were guaranteed to finish in the top two of the Western Slope League and will host a first-round playoff game next week.
"We are expecting good things," goalkeeper Kelly Carlson said. "I think this team can go a long way."
The Sailors finished the regular season with a 7-2-1 record.