Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer players practice Friday afternoon. They play today at 11 a.m. against Glenwood Springs.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer players practice Friday afternoon. They play today at 11 a.m. against Glenwood Springs.

Steamboat girls soccer aims for 2nd title

Steamboat girls return most athletes from last year’s team

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2010 soccer schedule

2010 Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer schedule

Today, 11 a.m. vs. Glenwood Springs

Tuesday, 6 p.m. at Battle Mountain

March 20, 2 p.m. at Cheyenne Central High School

March 25, 6 p.m. vs. Rifle

March 27, 1 p.m. at Moffat County

April 3, Noon vs. Eagle Valley

April 6, 6 p.m. vs. Battle Mountain

April 9, 5 p.m. at Grand Junction

April 10, 11 a.m. vs. Palisade

April 13, 6 p.m. at Eagle Valley

April 17, 10 a.m. vs. Falcon High School

April 27, 6 p.m. vs. Moffat County

April 29, 6 p.m. at Glenwood Springs

May 4, 4 p.m. vs. Delta

May 7, 6 p.m. at Centaurus

May 8, TBA state playoffs begin

— Although there are positions to fill and questions to be answered, the Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team should be in a position to win its second consecutive Western Slope League title.

The team returns most of last year’s athletes and should find out relatively quickly where it stands in the league.

Along with Battle Mountain and Glenwood Springs, Steam­boat is a perennial challenger for the top spot in the league.

“I think that’s the antici­­pa­­tion based on history,” Steam­boat coach Rob Bohlmann said. “But when you head into the end, whether that pans out, you never know. Palisade has been building momentum, and you never know if there is another unknown out there.”

Steamboat opens at 11 a.m. today at home against Glenwood Springs. The game is a nonleague match but should give good insight into where the teams stack up. After that, Steamboat travels to Battle Mountain on Tuesday to open up the league schedule.

It might not be how Bohl­mann would prefer to start the season, but it certainly will set a base for the rest of the spring.

“We feel it’s a luxury it’s not a league game,” Bohlmann said about today’s matchup. “It is against a common opponent, and we know each other quite a bit. Then we’re right into the first league game against Battle Mountain. Through our play, however it is, the assessments have to be quick and the adjustments have to be quick. (Today) is that day. We’ll see where we are, and then we’ll move forward.”

Steamboat’s strength again should come from possessing the ball. The team lost goalkeeper Hanna Berglund but returns several strong players at all three levels. Finding ways to score might be Steamboat’s biggest challenge.

“Our strength is definitely possession,” senior midfielder Emi Birch said. “I would consider that a strength of Steamboat soccer. But we’ve got to find more of an attacking mentality. Hopefully that will become a strength for us.”

In addition to league opponents, Steamboat will play four outside teams to get better competition. A couple of wins there could go a long way when playoff seeding comes.

Until then, Bohlmann said the focus would be on trying to fit the pieces together and win another league title.

“Success breeds success,” he said. “We do have a lot of returning players. It instills that mentality. The expectation for us is we’re going to fight and hopefully get a second consecutive league title. These girls have that confidence going into the season from last year.”

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