Two out of three ain't bad

Steamboat soccer team has successful opening weekend

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— After winning two out of three games in the opening weekend of play, the members of the Steamboat Springs High School boys soccer team might be looking for a break headed into the second week of the season.

They will not get it.

This Friday, the Sailors will play the first home game of the season against Niwot. That game is scheduled for 6 p.m. under the lights at the high school field. The contest will be followed by another big challenge at 11:30 p.m., Saturday at Dudley Field against Centarus.

"It's a big weekend," Steamboat's Kyle Nelson said. "Everybody is really excited to play at home."

The players are also excited they opened the season on Aug. 29 near Boulder at the Alexander Dawson Tournament with a win against Ralston Valley.

Regulation ended without a goal, though, so the two teams went to sudden death overtime. In the second half of the overtime period, Steamboat Springs' midfielder Alec Nelson beat his man deep down the left side. He placed a crossing pass onto the foot of Devin Borvansky who beat the Ralston Valley goalkeeper for the win.

"For the most part we were the dominant team," Sailors coach Rob Bahaman said. "But we were lacking the finish."

He said the lack of offensive production was a theme for his team in the first two games of the season. However, Kyle believes this young team is just starting to gel. When that happens, the goals will start coming.

"This first weekend was a measuring stick for us," Kyle said. "It let us know where we stand and what we still need to work on."

The Sailors' opening victory set up a match with host Alexander Dawson in the second round of the tournament Friday.

Bohlmann said his team spent the day at the Colorado Rapids training camp and entered Friday night's contest on a wave of enthusiasm.

He said the Sailors came out strong in the first 20 minutes of the game but learned a valuable lesson in the closing minutes of the half.

"In five minutes we gave away two goals," Bohlmann said. "It's because we decided to play referee instead of soccer."

Dawson's first goal came on an apparent offsides. The Sailors defensive players slowed their rush to the ball thinking the play would draw a whistle.

It did not, and the Dawson attacker took advantage of the situation to drive on goal.

The second goal came on a free kick. While the Steamboat players complained to the referees about the call, Dawson took advantage of the situation to create a goal scoring opportunity.

"We learned a valuable lesson," Bohlmann said.

The two quick goals gave Alexander Dawson the edge they needed to secure the win over the Western Slope opponent. Dawson added one more goal in the second half en route to a 3-0 win.

Despite the loss, the coach credited players like Kyle Nelson and Kelly Carlson for their efforts in the game. He said Kyle Nelson was used in a variety of roles including the center, back and midfield slots and even up front for a short period of time.

Meanwhile, Carlson made his presence felt between the pipes. Bohlmann said the senior goalkeeper was key to the team's opening win against Ralston Valley and also kept his team in the game against Alexander Dawson.

Steamboat rebounded in the third game of the tournament, which was played on Saturday against Battle Mountain, with a 3-1 win.

Kyle Nelson opened the scoring after being pulled down in the goal box during a scoring attempt. He took the penalty kick and put his team up 1-0 about 25 minutes into the game.

Steamboat added to the lead in the second half when Mike Holland made a run toward the back of the box and sent a crossing pass to teammate Andy Comeau. From there Comeau completed the scoring run by beating the goalkeeper.

The final Steamboat goal of the game came five minutes later when Alec Nelson assisted his brother Kyle with a corner kick. Kyle put the ball in the back of the net to give Steamboat a 3-0 lead.

Battle Mountain scored in the final stretch of the game but never really threatened the Sailors' lead.

"I think everybody was happy with the way things went in the opening week," Kyle Nelson said. "Now we just have to keep building toward the start of league play."

To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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