Last week, while many of her teammates sunned themselves on Mexican beaches, Siara Atkinson spent her spring break practicing soccer skills.
It showed Thursday.
Eleven minutes into the second half of Thursday's soccer game, Atkinson worked around Glenwood Springs goalie Kelsie Hert to give Steamboat a comfortable 3-1 lead. The Sailors went on to win, 5-2, to remain unbeaten.
Atkinson said she and senior Lindsay Ellis, who attends Soroco High School, spent last week practicing their finishing skills near the net.
After the win, Ellis was joking with Atkinson that their afternoons spent firing shots paid off. After Atkinson's goal, the Demons let up a bit, allowing the Sailors to pull away.
"(The goalie) came out to challenge me, and I went around her," Atkinson said. "I'm glad I didn't miss the net. That would have been embarrassing."
For the most part, Atkinson said, Steamboat looked "very rusty" in its practices after the extended break last week.
"I'm glad we have the rest of this week and most of next to prepare for Battle Mountain and the playoffs," Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann said.
Battle Mountain, which Steamboat plays May 5, is second in the league standings behind Steamboat.
But Glenwood is fighting for third, and on Thursday the Demons challenged the Sailors on both ends of the field. The first time the teams met -- a 1-0 Steamboat win -- the Sailors capitalized early.
On Thursday, Glenwood's Tobie Rippy put the Demons ahead in the first minute, scoring on a penalty kick. Glenwood held the lead -- and controlled the ball -- until Steamboat's Haley Gallagher evened things up with a goal from 35 yards out.
Standing in puddles with soaked hands, Hert made the initial save, but the ball bounced up and away from her before landing in the back of the net.
The Sailors took the lead for good with four minutes left in the first half, thanks to Ellis' strong run and centering pass to Kelly Labor for the goal.
"We played pretty even with them in the first half," Demons goalie Linda Loman said.
The Sailors cleaned up their play in the second, scoring three unanswered before the Demons' Jaquie Romero drilled one high over the head of Sailors' goalie Kirsten Ryan in the closing minutes.
Atkinson, Ann Barney and Labor scored Steamboat's second half goals.
Steamboat moves to 12-0 overall and 11-0 in league play with the win. Glenwood drops to 6-6-1 overall and 6-5-1 in league.
The Sailors host Eagle Valley at 4 p.m. today at Dudley Field. Weather may warrant a location change, but that won't be determined until this afternoon.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org