Fourteen games into the season, the players on the Steamboat Springs girls' soccer team still have no idea how it feels to lose.
They don't want to find out today.
"It's all on the line for us now," Steamboat Springs' Kelly Labor said after the Sailors 4-1 win against Eagle Valley on Wednesday night. "There's a little pressure, but we want to come out confident and relaxed."
The Sailors, 14-0 this season, today will take on the Huskies, 13-1, in a game that will determine the Western Slope League Champion. If the Sailors win the game, they will be the first soccer team in Steamboat to finish the regular season undefeated. But first they have to get past Battle Mountain -- a team close enough to swipe the league title in the final game of the season.
"They have a really good defense," Labor said. "It was a pretty scrappy game the first time we played them down there."
The two teams were scoreless in the first half, but three second-half goals helped the Sailors hand the Huskies the team's only loss of the season.
Labor expects Battle Mountain to try to even the score in today's rematch, which will take place at 4 p.m. at Dudley Field.
"It's huge," Labor said. "But we want to treat it just like it's any other game."
Steamboat improved its record to 14-0 on Wednesday in a hard-fought game against Eagle Valley (3-9-1) at Dudley Field.
Steamboat got an unassisted goal from Ann Barney two minutes into the game to take the early advantage. Labor scored the second Steamboat goal just a few minutes later after getting a nice pass from teammate Jenna Conlin.
Eagle Valley battled back with a goal from Michelle Parmenter about 14 minutes into the game. Sarah Hoza set the play up with a nice through ball that put Parmenter into a one-on-one with Steamboat goalkeeper Kirsten Ryan.
Steamboat managed to put plenty of shots on the Eagle Valley goal for 80 minutes, but Devils goalkeeper Mary Cochrane foiled most of the Sailors' efforts.
She stopped several shots from just outside the box and shut down a couple of Steamboat breakaways that usually would have ended with a score.
But in the second half, Steamboat came away with the goals it needed to secure the victory. The first came off the foot of Lindsay Ellis, who managed to knock a rebound in front of the net past a scrambling Cochrane to put Steamboat up, 3-1. The next goal came after Steamboat's Siara Atkinson was knocked to the ground in front of the Eagle goal by defender Catalina Reyes. After shaking off the hard hit, Atkinson fired the ball home to make the score 4-1.
After the varsity game Wednesday, the Steamboat Springs junior varsity team defeated Eagle Valley, 4-0.