Sailors host Wildcats in second round

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Ian Wale, like Rob Bohlmann, pulls double duty.

Each coaches the boys and girls soccer teams at their respective high schools. The two have met during the boys' playoffs. Today, the soccer junkies meet again when the Greeley Central Wildcats and Sailors girls teams square off in the second round of the state playoffs.

The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Dudley Field.

"We know his coaching style," Bohlmann said of Wale. "It has been solidified through different scouting reports we've gotten. We feel pretty comfortable with their attacking and defensive tendencies. At the same time, he'll have done his homework."

Steamboat (16-0-0) is the only unbeaten team in Class 4A, having won the Western Slope League by two games. The Sailors are seeded fifth. The 12th-seeded Wildcats (9-6-1) finished second in the Northern League behind No. 2 seed Greeley West.

Although Sailors junior Kelly Labor remains the focal point of opposing defenses, the development of the Sailors' attack has enabled others to become dangerous scorers as well.

"Scoring goals is not an issue," Bohlmann said. "I think we have enough confidence in what we have proved in the last 16 games. Greeley Central has a couple of key players in their attack, so we will have to make sure we are getting the job done defensively as a unit. That is one of the keys."

Although Bohlmann said knowing something about Greeley Central is helpful, he is more focused on how Steamboat plays as a whole. The core of the team is playoff savvy, so the Sailors should be able to adjust on the field.

Of Steamboat's 16 games, three have been decided by one goal. The Sailors won all three, and in the rare instance when they were behind, they have come from behind to win.

"What has developed with this group, which is unique and not necessarily a positive, is they play to the level of the competition and environment on the field," Bohlmann said.

The winner of today's Steam--boat Springs-Greeley Central game will face the winner of the Cheyenne Mountain-Pueblo Centennial game. If Cheyenne Mountain wins, as the No. 4 seed, it will host the quarterfinal game. If No. 13-seeded Pueblo Centennial pulls an upset, then Steamboat or Greeley Central will host a quarterfinal game because they are seeded higher than Pueblo.

The quarterfinal games will be played Tuesday or Wednesday. The semifinals begin Thursday at Broomfield High School.

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

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