Sailors girls soccer to open tourney at home

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The Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team wrapped up the Western Slope League championship more than a week ago, but it didn't reap all the awards of its powerful season until Sunday.

The Sailors earned the No. 11 seed in this month's Class 4A state girls soccer tournament. On Wednesday, the squad will host Thompson Valley at Gardner Field in a home playoff game. The time of that game will be announced today.

"The girls are ecstatic," Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. "It was our goal all season to get a home playoff game, and they are thrilled that all that hard work paid off."

Bohlmann said he was pleasantly surprised how highly his team was seeded in the 32-team bracket.

Thompson Valley is the 22nd seed.

"I was thinking somewhere between 12 to 16," he said. "Coming in at 11, that's solid. That shows a lot of respect from the various leagues towards our league, and obviously towards us having won the league title and having some solid performances outside the league."

Thompson Valley, a Loveland high school, enters Wednesday's game with a 8-6-1 record, a couple wins behind Steamboat's 11-3 mark.

The Eagles finished eighth in their league, but Bohlmann said that's the mark of a good season in the ultra-competitive Northern League from which the school hails. The team struggled against the league's best teams - it lost last week, 6-1, to the state tournament's No. 2 seed, Broomfield, and, 5-0, to No. 5 seed Niwot - but beat Mountain View, 4-1, on Thursday to enter the tournament on a winning note.

"That's the strongest league in the state," Bohlmann said. "They have a great situation where every week, every game, they're having to fight and scrap against quality opponents. It's going to be a tough game."

Still, the daunting opponent wasn't enough Sunday to outweigh Steamboat's excitement about hosting an opening-round game.

"Starting at home was our top objective," Bohlmann said. "It's definitely exciting, and it's very well deserved by the girls."

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