Sweeping W. Slope

Soccer team undefeated in league play again

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Twenty-four.

That number took on new meaning for the members of the Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team Tuesday night at Dudley Field. The Sailors capped another perfect season in the Western Slope Conference with a 7-2 win over second-place Battle Mountain. It was the squad's 24th straight league victory for a team that went 13-1-1 overall this season.

"Everybody has had a part in it," Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. "To go 12 games in league play is a big accomplishment. For our seniors to go 24-0, well, that's even bigger."

It wasn't a secret that the Steamboat Springs players wanted to sweep the league this season. Winning the league title, and doing it without a loss, has been the team's goal since the players took the field against Palisade in March.

"We are very happy," Steamboat's Kelly Labor said. "That's two years that we've gone undefeated in the league. We ... are happy with where we are sitting going into the post season, and hopefully we will pick it up a bit in the playoffs."

Picking it up would mean avoiding the slow starts that have plagued the team's last two games.

Battle Mountain took an early

1-0 lead in Tuesday's game after Lauren Arnold scored the first goal of the game 10 minutes into the game.

But the lead wouldn't last.

Labor scored the first of four goals less than five minutes later.

A hard shot by junior Lindsay Ellis led Steamboat's next goal. Huskies goalie Alexis Guinn stopped the shot, but Casey Garth put her foot on the loose ball and fired the rebound into the back of the net to make the score 2-1. Labor cushioned the Steamboat lead with two more first-half goals.

Battle Mountain's Arnold added another to make the score 4-2 at the half.

Second-half goals from Labor, Lisl Pearson and Allison Lewis put the game out of reach for the Huskies. Sailor goalkeeper Kirsten Ryan shut down the Huskie offense in the final 40 minutes to protect the Sailor advantage and insure the undefeated season.

Battle Mountain coach Dave Cope elected to sit most of his starters once Steamboat pulled away in the second. He wants them to be fresh for their Saturday playoff game against Evergreen.

Steamboat will face Longmont, the team that beat them in the first round of the playoffs last season, in the first round.

"We figure that if we are going to win a state championship, we are going to have to beat every team," Labor said. " We will go into every game as if they're the best team in the state and do our best."

--To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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