Steamboat Springs Most people who frequent the Creekside Cafe and Grill are aware of its famous eggs benedict, but few know that the popular restaurant has built a soccer dynasty of sorts in Steamboat Springs.
Perched atop the bar is a mantle that holds its collection of trophies, and owners Jason and Kelly Landers have to make room for one more after Creekside United defeated Steamboat Medical, 6-2, in Thursday's adult coed soccer playoffs at Christian Heritage School.
Creekside United won the indoor league and tournament during the winter, as well.
"We have room for more," Kelly Landers said.
With a 9-0-1 record, Steamboat Medical won the regular season title with Creekside United a close second at 7-0-3. The regular season schedules were formed by random draw and the top two teams didn't face each other until Tuesday night's championship.
"We like to play Creekside," Steamboat Medical player Eric McClelland said. "It's always a pretty clean game."
After the first 10 minutes of play it appeared as if the game was going to be pretty close. The teams exchanged goals within two minutes of each other. Ian Burkle scored first for Creekside seven minutes in off a pass from Paolo Guidi. Ian Armstrong evened things up for Steamboat Medical less than two minutes later, knocking a ball past United goalie Dave Miras off a corner kick.
Rusty Davison pushed United back ahead two minutes later. Both teams exchanged shots for the next 25 minutes before Burkle floated one past Steamboat Medical goalie Charles Reed at the 30-minute mark from nearly 30 yards out.
Casey Garth helped Steamboat Medical close the gap with her goal off a deflection on the far post in the closing minutes of the first half. The score remained 3-2 for the first 12 minutes of the second until sweeper Shane Dooley fired a direct kick past Reed from 40 yards out.
Steamboat Medical had a great look at the goal 10 minutes later off a corner kick, but Miras, as he did for most of the game and season, denied a goal.
Miras, a goalie growing up, was one of Creekside's new additions this season.
Three minutes later, captain Ryan Lightner put the game away on his direct kick goal from more than 25 yards out.
Creekside added one more goal on an open net when Colleen Carlson beat Dr. Jim Dudley, the man in charge of Steamboat Medical and Carlson's family doctor, to the ball.
"The women are the key to a game," Burkle said.
In the coed league, there must be at least four women on the field at any time, and it was apparent Creekside United and Steamboat Medical selected talented women able to handle the ball and challenge the men.
On Tuesday, one woman from each team recorded a goal.
Both McClelland and Burkle said this summer's soccer league was one of the best they have played in since joining a team. A majority of Steamboat Medical's team is from Steamboat Springs, while Creekside United has a large number of players not originally from Northwest Colorado.
"This was the best it has been in a while," Burkle said. "The top six teams were close."
--To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org