Sailors rolling along

Steamboat stays perfect with 5-0 win

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The names and faces may change, but the results stay the same for the Steamboat Springs girls soccer team.

Despite switching players and their positions for most of Thursday's game, the Sailors shutout visiting Rifle, 5-0, to remain unbeaten this season.

"It doesn't matter," junior Casey Garth said. "We are used to playing with everyone in practice."

Steamboat put the game away in the first half, scoring four goals in the first 40 minutes.

The Sailors' offensive at----tack is predicated on spacing and precise passing. While Steamboat's usual game site, Dudley Field, continues to dry out, the girls are forced to play on the larger football field, which actually is an advantage, coach Rob Bohlmann said.

The wider field made it more difficult for the Rifle defenders to cover every Steamboat run toward goal.

Consequently, the Sailors scored several easy goals.

The first came three minutes into the game off the foot of senior Kathleen Lyon. Senior Lindsay Ellis used some fancy footwork to shake a Rifle defender before hitting Lyon in the box with a pass.

Junior Kelly Labor added Steamboat's second goal four minutes later when her low roller bounced between the legs of sophomore goalie Kadie LaRocque.

"Steamboat took it to us in the first half," Bears coach Tom Taucher said. "They were in a nice rhythm, and we got caught ball watching."

The Sailors' third goal 19 minutes in served as a perfect example of how successful their offense can be when passing and spacing are working together. Lyon took the ball in Rifle's zone and delivered a perfect pass to junior Ann Barney on a run down the right sideline. Barney took the ball toward the far corner before crossing it back to Ellis, who was in the box for the score.

Rifle freshman Chelsea Webb had two of the Bears' best opportunities to score in the first half but couldn't get the ball past Steamboat sophomore Shannon King.

The Sailors wrapped up their first half scoring off an assist from senior Allison Lewis to Barney.

The second half featured less Steamboat offense, which was more to the liking of Taucher.

"In the second half, we were looking for more composure," he said. "Obviously, we wanted to win the game, but that's a lofty goal coming here. They are so solid."

Steamboat ad----ded its fifth goal midway in on a pass from Labor to Lewis.

The Bears' best chance to score came in the closing seconds when a shot got away from King, but she was able to pounce back on the ball before it rolled into the net to preserve the shutout, the Sailors' sixth of the year.

Up next for Steamboat (10-0 overall, 9-0 in league) is a 10 a.m. game Saturday against Palisade. Rifle (4-4-1, 3-4-1) will play Eagle Valley at 11 a.m. Saturday at Eagle Valley.

After a shaky start to the season, including narrow wins against Moffat County and Glenwood Springs, Steamboat appears to be on a roll.

"After the Lewis-Palmer win, it gave us a lot more confidence," Garth said. "These league games are preparation for postseason. It's easy to slack off, but (Bohlmann) emphasizes us doing the simple things well."

Steamboat defeated Class 5A Lewis-Palmer, 2-1, on April 2.

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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