Steamboat Springs Continuity and experience are trademarks of the Steamboat Springs High School soccer team.
So when Moffat County and Steamboat met Tuesday at Gardner Field, Bulldogs first-year coach Rusty Cox knew his young team was at a disadvantage.
With only a handful of upperclassmen and playing under the team's third coach in four years, Moffat County couldn't keep up with Steamboat, falling 6-0.
"Two seniors on the field and three juniors," Cox said. "We're building and plus they have a new coach. We're working. We'll put it together."
Steamboat certainly put it together in the first half.
Sailors senior Daniel Wright scored two goals in the first 10 minutes of the game, before Tony Rende took over.
The junior netted a hat trick before halftime, giving Steamboat a 5-0 lead heading into the break. Steamboat senior Ryan McConnell added a late goal for the eventual result.
"As long as we leave the field a better team than we came, that's our goal for each game," said Rende, who got two great crosses on three of his goals. "It was hard. The first half was more through balls and run on it. The second half was more possession. The second half was much better."
For Moffat County (0-3 overall, 0-3 in league play) the game was a little bit of a step back. In the team's previous game against Battle Mountain, Cox said Moffat County played with more passion and confidence.
Although he wasn't happy with the result, he knows it's all part of a process.
"They're not trusting their teammates," he said. "We work hard in practice, and then we come out here and it's like a whole different game. We actually played 100 times better against Battle Mountain than here. It just wasn't here" Tuesday.
Although Steamboat (5-0 overall, 3-0 in league play) has played well early on, its biggest challenge might come against Centaurus at 11 a.m. Saturday at Gardner Field.
Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said from playing Centaurus in the past he knows some of the team's tendencies, but with each year comes new personnel and a new game plan.
"It's just got to be about us," Bohlmann said. "It doesn't matter what color jersey the opponent is wearing, it's just got to be about us. There is really no way around it. We have to attack each game with the same mentality."
- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org