Steamboat Springs Despite a 4-2 nonleague loss to Grand Junction Central High School on Friday, Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer coach Rob Bohlmann came away knowing his team had played 160 minutes of solid soccer on the eve of possibly the season’s biggest game.
Coupling Friday’s loss with Thursday’s big 2-1 win against Battle Mountain, Bohlmann said he’s confident as Steamboat (4-2 overall, 3-1 in the Western Slope League) moves forward.
“We didn’t get the result, but we really feel good about what we did with the game,” he said.
Steamboat plays at 1 p.m. today against Palisade, a team that is perched at the top of the league with Steamboat with just one league loss.
Friday against Grand Junction, Steamboat proved it was capable of playing with a bigger team, even coming off of an emotional win Thursday.
Grand Junction took advantage of possible tired legs from Steamboat and took a 1-0 lead in the first five minutes.
Jenna Peters got the equalizer early in the second half on a corner from Haley Brookshire. Central scored 15 minutes later, before Emi Birch scored on a direct kick just outside the box.
“It was another tracker of a goal,” Bohlmann said.
That’s when there was some controversy. Central had a corner that got into the box and looked like it might have been cleared by Steamboat, but the referee ruled that it had crossed the line, giving Central a 3-2 advantage.
Down, Steamboat started to move players up and press, and Grand Junction scored in the waning seconds to make it 4-2.
“We’re coming away from 160 minutes of soccer, feeling really good about it,” Bohlmann said. “We have to measure ourselves in the win-loss category, but we also measure ourselves in the little things within the game. We feel like we’re in a good spot right now.”
That’s good, with the biggest game of the season today. Palisade traditionally hasn’t been a powerhouse in the league, but a win against Battle Mountain earlier in the season announced to the rest of the league that the team would be tough this season.
Bohlmann said the key would be getting adequate rest in anticipation of playing three games in three days.
Add in that Palisade was supposed to play Moffat County on Friday, a game that was delayed because fields in Craig weren’t ready, and Steamboat should face a tough — and well rested — Palisade team today.
“We have to take advantage of being into the rhythm of playing 160 minutes of good soccer,” Bohlmann said. “It’s building off that rhythm we have going. It’s playing efficiently.”