The minds of the girls on the Steamboat soccer team were elsewhere Thursday afternoon. Coming off a tough and emotional win against rival Battle Mountain on Wednesday, the weary Sailors still found enough seams in a porous Eagle Valley defense to beat the Devils, 9-2, at the Christian Heritage School fields.
"Everybody was tired mentally and physically," Sailor goalkeeper Shannon King said.
After a pair of early goals from Kelly Labor, the Sailors showed some fatigue but continued to wear down the Eagle Valley defense, with Casey Garth finding Kathleen Lyon on a cross and adding a goal of her own to lead the Sailors, 7-1, into the half.
The Sailors used the second half to rest their starters and give some members of the junior varsity squad an opportunity to showcase their skills.
"It was a chance for us to get them in the field and see where they fit, getting different looks at different players, and they all did well," JV coach Danny Tebbenkamp said. "Mandy DeVos got two goals in about five minutes, and Abby Lewis got one."
Eagle Valley also used the opportunity to put significant offensive pressure on the Sailors in the second half, lofting a goal over King. Steamboat's defense allowed only a pair of goals, leaving Eagle Valley's Michelle Parmenter and Sarah Hoza with a goal each.
"It's tough playing the top team in the league. Steamboat plays such a nice one-touch, two-touch game, but we really stepped up to the pressure and took charge, playing an excellent second half," Eagle Valley coach T.J. Hay said.
Despite their dismal 0-9-1 record, Hay remained positive about his squad, raving about the play of junior goalkeeper Mary Cochrane.
"She's hands-down the best goalkeeper in the league. She's constantly getting tested -- 15, 17, 18, 20 saves a game? That's more like a season worth of saves for some goalies," Hay said.
Despite Cochrane's solid play, she was unable to stop Steamboat's final goal, blasted in from outside the box by senior Kirsten Ryan.
As the final whistle blew, the Eagle Valley girls cheered after a great half of play, and the Steamboat girls cheered about being on spring break.
"We had spring break in our heads, but it was sure nice for the seniors to know they have that younger talent -- the whole unit of JV players played strong," senior Kelly Labor said, notching another hat-trick on her impressive season.
After enjoying their back-to-back wins this week, the Sailors hope to return from their well-earned spring break refocused for the final leg of their 10-0-1 league season with their next game -- 4 p.m. May 2 in Glenwood Springs.