Monday, September 12, 2005
The boys in red and white were celebrating after Monday's soccer game at Dudley Field.
Unfortunately for the hometown fans, they weren't the Sailors.
The smiling faces belonged to the Glenwood Springs Demons, who netted a free kick about 25 minutes into the second half to secure a 1-0 victory against the snake-bitten Steamboat Springs Sailors.
"I shanked the kick," Glenwood's Corey McGrath said after the game. "But it clipped one of their defenders and bounced into the goal. I was happy about that. I expected this to be a tight game. When I stepped up to take the shot, I knew I was going to score no matter what. I was determined."
Glenwood's goal deflated the Sailors, who had stopped the Demons on several other scoring attempts.
It also overshadowed a stellar performance by Steamboat goalkeeper Bjorn Lickteig.
"It was just unlucky. ... There wasn't much I could do about it," Lickteig said.
The goal was McGrath's second game-winning goal in three days. On Saturday, he scored the game-winner in a 2-1 contest against the Moffat County Bulldogs.
Monday's game also marked the second time this week that the Sailors have fallen by a single goal to a league opponent.
On Saturday in Rifle, Steamboat fell, 2-1.
"We didn't play with a whole lot of passion today," Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said after the game. "I'm disappointed. Our players have been working hard this season to turn things around, but the passion was missing today."
Lickteig agreed with his coach.
"I thought after the game with Rifle we would have come out with a little more intensity. I thought we would have been psyched to play," Lickteig said. "But there was no chemistry today, and we weren't connecting as a team."
Steamboat weathered an early push by Glenwood. Lickteig stopped a breakaway attempt by Patrick Shepard in the opening minutes and another late in the first half. He also stopped a barrage of corner kicks, free kicks and several shots from outside.
But Steamboat struggled to build its attack, and despite a couple of scoring runs, the team never really put any pressure on the Glenwood goalkeeper.
Early in the second half, however, Steamboat created a couple of opportunities that nearly paid off.
Steamboat's best chance came on a shot by David Comeau that glanced off the cross bar.
If the ball had been an inch lower the game might have swung in favor of the hometown Sailors. But instead, the ball bounced straight down and somehow failed to make its way into the back of the goal.
A few minutes later, Steamboat was called for pushing just outside the penalty area. McGrath fired the shot into a wall of Steamboat players. Somehow it found its way through the group and into the goal.
"Things like that happen in soccer," Bohlmann said. " The bottom line is we didn't create any opportunities today."
On the other side, Glenwood coach Craig Plizga praised his players' performance.
"I think our players did an excellent job today," Plizga said. "We controlled the ball and made the most of our opportunities."
The victory improved the Demons' record to 4-0 this season, and the team is 2-0 in the Western Slope League.
Steamboat fell to 0-3, but Bohlmann thinks his team is making strides in the right direction.
"This team is due," Bolhmann said. "It could happen (today) in Eagle, but these guys are going to win. They just have to find a way to get over that hurdle."
Steamboat will face Eagle Valley in Gypsum today at 4 p.m.