Steamboat Springs freshman David Comeau picked the perfect time to score his first varsity goal when he arched the winning shot over Glenwood Springs' goalie Thais Kulwiec three minutes into overtime.
The score gave Steamboat a 3-2 victory against Glenwood, and -- coupled with a Battle Mountain loss Thursday -- moved the Sailors into a tie with the Huskies atop the league standings.
After their celebration, the Sailors amassed for the customary post-game handshake with the Demons, but Glenwood coach Bob Guska ushered his players back, refusing to shake hands with Steamboat.
Guska said the officials missed an offsides call that resulted in Steamboat's winning goal. Guska believed the physical nature of the contest and the unfortunate way the game ended may have resulted in an unwanted fight between the teams in the handshake line, as well.
"We didn't come to injure players, and we didn't come to get injured," Guska said.
The coach pointed to his bench where several Demons players were wrapping ice to bruised and battered knees and shins. The respect between the programs runs deep, but Guska said Thursday's game was the "dirtiest" he had ever seen the Sailors play.
Several Steamboat players were wrapping their bodies in ice after the Sailors' win, too. The game was undeniably physical, and Steamboat and Glenwood have a history of playing tough games because they are so evenly matched.
"It was a good game, other than the emotions getting a little too high," Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann said. "It was a hard-fought game both ways."
Both teams scored two goals in the first half before going scoreless in the second. Steamboat netted its first goal 13 minutes into the half off Daniel Barney's penalty kick. Glenwood tied it up three minutes later on a perfectly placed direct kick high and left off Victor Osorio's foot.
The Demons moved into the lead in the closing minutes of the first half off another line-drive shot from Osorio. Steamboat goalie Andy Comeau, David Comeau's brother, got a piece of Osorio's kick, but the momentum of the rebound enabled the ball to spin into the back of the goal.
Much like the Demons earlier in the game, the Sailors wasted little time forming a return attack, dumping the ball into their offensive zone one minute later. Kulwiec's play in goal kept his team in the game in the second half, but late in the first, the junior misjudged Steamboat's midfield, dump-in pass by one step. The ball arrived and took a short hop to Kulwiec's left before he could get a hand on it. Devin Borvansky was behind the goalie for the easy empty-net goal.
Steamboat played poorly in the opening 15 minutes of the second half, but Andy Comeau helped the Sailors remain in the game, Bohlmann said.
"He did very well with staying composed and with his positioning and having presence in the box," Bohlmann said. "It was a great Comeau day."
Andy, a senior, said he had been waiting for the day when his younger brother David would finally join him on the soccer field. This season it happened when the freshman earned a varsity spot.
Thursday, the brothers performed well in a crucial league game, but both said they initially thought David's winning shot was high.
"When I saw it fall in the back of the net, I sprinted from one end to the other," Andy said.
"And then I got smashed," David said.
The Sailors (3-1 in league play) and Demons (2-2) meet again at 1 p.m. Oct. 4 in Glenwood Springs.
Next up for Steamboat is a showdown with Battle Mountain for the outright league lead at 4 p.m. Sept. 23 at Dudley Field.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org