Sunday, September 16, 2007
Steamboat Springs As players walked by rubbing his head and giving him pats on the back, Travis Whitman unlaced his shoes and removed his shiny, golden shin guards. The Glenwood Springs soccer player's equipment directly reflects his recent play, as the sophomore scored the golden goal in overtime, lifting the Demons against Steamboat, 2-1, on Saturday.
"I rushed in and got first to the ball, touched around a few people and got off a shot and prayed it went in. And sure enough, it went in," said Whitman, who carded a hat trick in Glenwood's 7-2 win against Palisade on Thursday. "I got a good, solid foot on it. I thought it was going over at first, but it snuck right in there."
Whitman worked quickly in overtime, racing down the right side of the field and launching a rocket to the upper left corner of the goal to win the game less than 20 seconds into OT.
"We really wanted to press them right off the kickoff," Glenwood head coach John Mount said. "My guys just wanted to get it over with and be done with it. They came out to play, and they wanted it."
In regulation, Steamboat got on the board first with an Andrew White goal 30 minutes in. Josh Fix sent a corner kick across the front of Glenwood's goal, and White was waiting on the far side to direct it in.
Glenwood had two shots, one by Fabian Tapia and one by Javier Rodelas, hit off the Steamboat crossbar in the first half. Steamboat had similar misses in the second frame, when the Sailors (1-2-1 Class 4A Western Slope League and 1-4-1 overall) were unable to find the back of the net.
Glenwood did, though. After a centering kick from Demon Ryan Young, Whitman and Tapia closed in on the ball, which was rolling in front of the goal. Tapia got a foot on it and fired it just inside the left post to knot the game at 1-1 with 20:41 to go.
Each team put together a few scoring chances in the closing minutes, including a Steamboat shot that was bobbled by Demons goalkeeper Kurt Hartmann and cleared by Gabe King, but none went in the goals.
"All things considered, we did OK today. We always struggle when we come down here and on this field," Steamboat head coach Rob Bohlmann said. "We still struggled to solve the problems of how we can be successful on this field and spreading out and kinda trying to spread them out and create a little more time and space when we have the ball."
Overtime followed, and Glenwood, who moved to 3-0 in the WSL and 3-2 overall, earned the win, its third straight.
"This is our biggest one," Mount said of Glenwood's wins. "We knew Steamboat was strong and we would be evenly matched. The guys knew it, and even though Steamboat pressed us hard, we had some good attacks."