Everybody expected the Steamboat Springs boys soccer team to beat a struggling Palisade team in the final regular season game Friday afternoon.
They didn't expect senior Sean Carlson, who ruptured his spleen and was forced to sit out the entire season, to score a goal in the 8-0 win.
"He isn't really supposed to be playing for six months after the injury, but he brought his uniform for senior night, and everybody thought it would be cool to let him go out and perform an honorary kickoff," coach Rob Bohlmann said.
The coach had a sub waiting on the sidelines so he could pull Carlson at the first opportunity.
But the Sailors turned Carlson's second-half kickoff into a great scoring opportunity. Before the coach could stop the action, Carlson had taken a hard shot on goal that was stopped by the Palisade keeper.
Just a few seconds later, another Steamboat player made a run on goal and was pulled down in the goalkeeper's box.
Bohlmann saw the penalty as a bright spot in an otherwise dim season for Carlson.
"There was no question who was going to take the penalty kick," Bohlmann said. "Sean scoring was the highlight of the night -- it's what high school soccer is all about."
Steamboat also got goals from Devin Borvansky (two), Nick Bentley (two), Harry Packer, Alec Nelson and Max Hamil as they rolled to a win in the contest and secured second place in the Western Slope League with a 12-3 record.