Steamboat's Evan DePuy, right, blasts a shot past a Rifle defender in an 11-0 win earlier this season in Steamboat Springs. The Sailors hope to have the same kind of home result Tuesday as they battle D'Evelyn in the first round of the Class 4A soccer playoffs.
Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs High School soccer coach Rob Bohlmann quickly cited all the obvious reasons his team was thrilled to have officially locked down a home game for the first round of the Class 4A state soccer tournament, a contest against D'Evelyn set for Tuesday.
The game's time will be set this morning.
But as nice as it will be to avoid a long bus ride, soak up the comforts of a familiar locker room and field and play in front of a home crowd, Bohlmann explained that the real advantage of securing a home game goes deeper.
Steamboat walked a tightrope for the entire season to emerge at the top of an ultra-competitive Western Slope League.
Now, reaping the reward for that late-season focus, the team has never been more confident.
"Playing at home was the true, big objective that we've been working for over the last 12 weeks," Bohlmann said. "Having accomplished a big goal has given us big time confidence."
Transferring that confidence into elite on-field play is just one way Bohlmann said his team will have to turn inward to find a first-round victory.
The Sailors don't know much about D'Evelyn at this point. The Jaguars finished fourth in the JeffCo League with a 7-5-3 record.
After starting off the year winless in its first six games, the team rebounded and lost only one of its final nine.
The teams share only one common opponent. Summit beat the Sailors in Steamboat, 2-1, in overtime. D'Evelyn, meanwhile, handled the team, 3-0, for its second win of the season.
"I'm sure between now and the game we'll find out a little more about how they play and their attacking and defending tendencies, but it has always been our belief that first and foremost it has to be about us," Bohlmann said. "We need to come out strong, play solid for 80 minutes and make adjustments within the game."
Volleyball draws 3rd seed
The Steamboat Springs volleyball team is the third seed in District 8 and will attempt to play through the six-team field for a chance to move on in the Class 4A postseason volleyball tournament Friday.
Montrose is the district's top seed, ahead of No. 2 Mullen, No. 4 Palisade, No. 5 Montezuma-Cortez and No. 6 Pueblo East.
- To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 871-4253 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org