Steamboat Springs The Steamboat United U12 soccer team was a selfish host.
Instead of let a visiting team come into Steamboat Springs and win the Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament, the group of local players took it upon themselves to come out on top of the U12 division, compiling a 4-0 record during the weekend.
The Steamboat U10 'C' team, one of three Steamboat teams in the U10 division, took second.
Traditionally, teams from larger metropolitan areas have the most success at the Steamboat tournament when it comes to wins and losses, but the boys on United have finished no worse than third in the three years they have entered.
This year, they took home first-place medals with a 4-3 win over Broomfield. But unlike earlier games in the tournament, the win in the finals didn't come easily.
Broomfield took the early lead in the U12 finals before Tony Rende evened things up for Steamboat with his first-half goal. That goal, player Kaelen Gunderson said, changed the game.
"After they scored their first goal, we started to give up," Gunderson said. "And then Tony scored the goal to tie it up. Then we started getting really excited and started playing really well."
Rende and Gunderson teamed up to score all four of United's goals. Gunderson, Andrew White and Brian Bertrand were credited with assists.
Gunderson's game-winning goal came in the second half off Bertrand's assist.
"Brian shot it just outside of the 18, and the goalie dove over and kind of blocked it but didn't catch it," Gunderson said. "I ran in and kind of poked it out of his hands and kind of tapped it in."
Broomfield scored a late goal to put the score at 4-3, but Steamboat held on for the win.
In Steamboat, traveling teams start playing soccer early. The youngest division in the Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament was the U10 division, but this was the third tournament of the summer for the boys on the Steamboat U10 'C 'team.
In Steamboat's tournament, the U10 division is a four-on-four format, so the Steamboat team slated to compete together this fall was split into three squads to allow everyone to play more, coach Bryan Bomberg said.
"It's a different game than we are used to," Bomberg said of the four-on-four format. "They have to learn to pass and defend quicker. There was a monster difference between the first day and last day. We had a good team, very experienced in this format that won it. They knew how the game was played."
Cirbo-Rapids out of Thornton won the U10 tournament.
Members of the victorious Steamboat United team coached by Danny Tebbenkamp are: Gunderson, Rende, White, Bertrand, Connor Birch, Grant Murray, Colton Harding, Sam Glaisher, Mark Hoovler, Johnathon Ricker, Lucas Stover, Tate Tellier, Taylor Miller and Jordy Bernard.
Members of the runner-up U10 'C' team are Jace Worden, Kit Croop, Conner Bomberg, Daniel Moran, Jamey Swiggart and Noah Glaisher.
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