Demons edge Sailors in second straight WSL girls soccer finale

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Kelley Cox/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

— Glenwood's got Steamboat's number when it comes to Western Slope League finales.

Last year, the Demon girls soccer team downed the Sailors, 3-2, in the last WSL game of the year, sinking the Sailors' hopes for an undefeated league record.

This year, the underdog Demons beat them again. Chelsea Vallario scored two goals to give Glenwood a 2-1 victory Tuesday at Stubler Memorial Field.

"It's the second year that we've won our senior game against Steamboat; it feels awesome," said Glenwood senior Corrina Gibbson of the win.

The win also rectified Glenwood's loss to the Sailors in Steamboat in early April.

"Glenwood always plays very sharp and with a lot of intensity," said Steamboat head coach Rob Bohlmann. "The spirit that they played with, I thought, was night and day from when they were at our place. They fought hard and created enough opportunities to get it done."

The game figures to be the last home contest for Glenwood, who is guaranteed a spot in the postseason with a 10-3-1 WSL record. In the 32-team bracket, the Demons will most likely be on the road.

"This is huge. We definitely wanted to do this for our seniors," Vallario said about the nine Demon seniors on the team. "Our coach said this was by far the best going-away gift we could give them. Second year in a row on our home field; it's always a good felling for us."

Steamboat (10-2-2 WSL) opened the game's scoring with a goal eight and a half minutes in. Miranda Schrock hammered home the Sailor goal, the only to get past senior Demon keeper Anna Kulwiec.

Steamboat held onto the lead and the game's momentum for the next 20 minutes. At the 9:49 mark, Glenwood senior Karlie Andreas was tripped in the box while making a charge toward the goal.

The officials awarded Glen-wood with a penalty kick, and Vallario made it count with a roller to the left corner to tie the game.

Even though both teams had already clinched playoff spots coming into Tuesday's contest, Glenwood proved they wanted to win. Especially in the second half as they outshot the Sailors, 11-3, in the last 40 minutes.

"Our play was just frantic, we tried to solve the problems," Bohlmann said of his team, which played its first game since returning from Steamboat's spring break. "We just couldn't quite get there today."

The game-winning goal came almost six minutes into the half. Freshman Kendall Strautman brought the ball down the center of the field, but fell down when a Steamboat defender stole the ball from her. Luckily for the Demons, the ball squirted to the right and Vallario happened to get a foot on it. The junior launched the ball high up in the air, and as Sailor goalie Hanna Berglund drifted back, it carried over her head, bounced on the ground just passed the goal line and then up into the net.

"I just stepped in with my left foot and kind of got lucky, I guess," Vallario said.

When the final whistle blew, Glenwood's bench cleared to celebrate.

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