Sailors rout Huskies

Return of Allen, Fritz lifts Steamboat girls past Battle Mountain

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— The return of Anya Allen and the season debut of Abby Fritz helped an already deep Steamboat Springs girls soccer team Tuesday as the Sailors routed the Battle Mountain Huskies 8-0 at Woodbury Field in Craig.

Allen, a senior, had the team's first assist, while co-captain Fritz, also a senior, directed the defense.

The win moved Steamboat to 7-0 overall and 7-0 in league play. Battle Mountain fell to 3-5 overall and 3-2 in the league.

The Huskies have just one senior, and coach Kate O'Conner said it was tough to counter the Sailors' attack with inexperienced players.

"Steamboat is always so prepared," she said. "They are constantly moving and constantly making themselves available to teammates. They are always a play ahead."

Ten minutes into Tuesday's game, staged in Craig due to snowy and wet fields in Steamboat, Allen hit Lindsay Ellis on a crossing pass as the sophomore cut toward the left post for the game's first score.

One minute later, senior Nikki Garth went around a Huskies defender to create an open shot from close range that she drilled past goalie Melissa Keltner.

Steamboat's offensive pressure continued for the remainder of the half. Jessie Dover hit the crossbar at the 20-minute mark but came back several minutes later with an assist to Ellis.

Ellis had two goals and one assist for Steamboat. Garth led all scorers with three goals. Dover had three assists, including the final two of the game for the Sailors.

Seven different players recorded a goal, an assist or both for Steamboat.

"We don't have any weak players," Ellis said. "We get a lot of teams frustrated, and a lot of times they don't know who they are marking."

The Huskies did manage several shots on goal off corner kicks and well-timed runs, but Sailor goalies Kirsten Ryan, the starter, and Ellis, the backup, let nothing get by them.

"We are so fortunate that we are deep and so very balanced," Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. "We also have a lot of versatility."

O'Conner said her team played much better in the second half, pressuring the ball more and creating more shots for itself.

The Sailors will have to play solid Thursday against Glenwood Springs in Glenwood.

Glenwood is 4-0-1 in the league after tying Rifle on April 5.

Steamboat defeated Rifle 5-1 on April 3.

The Sailors are atop the current league standings, but the Demons are the defending Western Slope champions an return every pivotal player from last season.

"In theory that makes them the team to beat," Bohlmann said. "We're very excited and eager to play."

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