Steamboat Springs If the Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team wants to survive the first round of the 4A state playoffs it will need to do something no other team has accomplished since April 10.
Beat the Broomfield Eagles.
"It might sound strange, but I like where we are sitting," Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann said. "Our tendency is to play our best soccer against really good teams - and Broomfield is a really good team."
After a slow 0-2-2 start this season, which included an opening season loss to Niwot, the Eagles have landed.
"Things were pretty rough early on," Broomfield coach Jim Davidson said. "We had to concentrate on our own system, and we've been able to turn things around since returning from spring break."
The defending state champion Eagles, ranked fifth in the latest Rocky Mountain News prep polls, currently are on a six-game winning streak. A streak the Eagles will be hoping to extend to seven when they host the Sailors in the first round of the state playoffs at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Broomfield.
"We are going into this game blind, as is Steamboat," Davidson said. "It's important to prepare for your opponent, but we don't have the luxury of going to a Steamboat game and watching them play. But I know and respect coach Bohlmann, and I know Steamboat will be well organized and ready to play."
Steamboat hasn't faced Broomfield this season, but the two teams have faced each other in the past.
To be successful, Bohlmann said, the Sailors can't play conservatively. He said Steamboat must control the possession of the ball and make the most of each possession.
"We need to respect them, but not too much," Bohlmann said. "If we give them too much respect, we will not be playing past the first round."
Broomfield is the No. 3 seed out of the Northern League, but the team's 9-3-3 record is a little misleading.
The team plays in the same league with No. 1-ranked Niwot, and No. 4 -ranked Silver Creek and returns a powerful team despite losing several key seniors from last year's roster. This season, the Eagles are led by forward Amanda Foulk, who will attend the University of Colorado next fall.
But Bohlmann is focused on building a consistent offensive attack in practice more than he is worrying about stopping the Eagles' top player in the game.
The Sailors have struggled to find consistency since returning from spring break last week. Steamboat (10-3-2) lost to Glenwood Springs (2-1) and Thomas Jefferson (2-1) to wrap up the regular season with back-to-back losses.
"I'm not too concerned," Bohlmann said. "We played a solid game against Thomas Jefferson, but we will need to play 70 to 80 minutes of consistent soccer if we want to win in the playoffs. I know we can do that, and that's what we need to focus on right now."
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