Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs High School soccer team used a dynamic opening 10 minutes and two goals from senior Ryan McConnell to down Glenwood Springs, 2-0, in the Western Slope League opener for both teams.
McConnell pounded in his first goal of the game in the fifth minute when fellow senior Daniel Wright drew a defender to the right sideline and fed McConnell a perfect pass.
The second came when Andrew White crossed a ball through the left side of the box, and McConnell snuck a shot by Glenwood goalkeeper Kurt Hartmann.
"The opening goals that quick just get us fired up for the whole game," McConnell said. "It gets us set for the rest of the game."
Although the two teams had opportunities the rest of the game, it was Steamboat's ability to possess the ball that dictated the outcome.
The Sailors (3-0 overall, 1-0 in league play) showed patience and poise in limiting the Demons' chances.
Glenwood's lone chance in the first half came in the 39th minute when Fabian Tapia's corner kick sailed just through the box.
"We got a new defense, and it's still gelling," Glenwood coach John Mount said. "We saw some good stuff, and we'll make some adjustments. But Steamboat's a good team. They play the possession well and wait for their opportunities."
In the second half, with Steamboat still controlling the pace of play, Glenwood finally started to get something going.
The Demons (0-1 overall, 0-1 in league play) had back-to-back chances in the 58th and 62nd minutes when Tapia was able to put good passes on the foot of Ryan Young. On the first chance, Steamboat goalkeeper Connor Birch got to the ball first; on the second, Young tapping the shot just wide.
"It's just back to the basic, simple soccer," Mount said. "Really, our chemistry was a little off. I think it could certainly be better in certain situations."
Although Steamboat dictated play most of the night, Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann said he would have liked to see more authoritative play in the second stanza.
"It's not an issue with the poise and possession and knocking it around," said Bohlmann, whose team has started all three games this year by scoring in the opening five minutes. "What was really lacking in the second half was the ability to kill the game off and find that third goal. The mentality was all possession and we lacked the attacking mentality. : But that's certainly a good problem to have."
Steamboat's next game is 11 a.m. Saturday in Rifle.