The Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team took an early lead Tuesday night, but the team ultimately fell to Battle Mountain, 3-1.
“There’s a lot of grit in these girls,” Huskies coach David Cope said.
“That’s what you call grinding out a result. I couldn’t be more proud of them in terms of the effort and the togetherness. To come back from behind to beat Steamboat, that’s especially gratifying.”
Battle Mountain raised its record to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the Western Slope, and Steamboat Springs fell to 0-1 and 1-1.
Although Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann wasn’t happy with the way his team came out, all early signs pointed to a Steamboat win. Sailors captain Courtney Garth scored on a breakaway goal in the 10th minute.
At just the same time, Battle Mountain’s Lizzie Seibert, who had seven goals in her team’s first two games, went down with a hamstring injury. Seibert gutted it out, returning in the second half, but she clearly was not at 100 percent.
“In the first half, the only thing that was working for us was in the counter moments, which is where we got the goal,” Bohlmann said. “Otherwise, it was pretty uncharacteristic the way we played the first half. Battle Mountain played hard. They were pretty consistent. They managed the game really well. They got the result.”
In a turn of irony, however, the Huskies got that result by doing exactly what the Sailors did to them last spring. Steamboat won, 2-0, to clinch the Western Slope title behind goals by Emmy Birch and Mandi DeVos in the waning minutes of the first half.
Where Tuesday’s game leaves the Western Slope League chase is up in the air. The Steamboat camp thinks the league is going by division play. That would mean that the Huskies and Sailors, as well as Eagle Valley and Moffat County, will play one another twice and then have one league game each against Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Palisade and Delta.
Battle Mountain entered the game thinking that, while there are multiple meetings between slope teams, the first match was the sole league game.
Either way, both teams have a lot of soccer left and presumably the league will make a ruling.
“We’re OK. We don’t need to panic or anything,” Bohlmann said. “The biggest thing we take away from tonight is being able to play better soccer for 80 minutes. The first 40 minutes were not good for us. The second half was much better. We just weren’t able to put it in the back of net.”
The Huskies coach agreed.
“If we have to go up to Steamboat to try to play for the league, that’s a long ways off,” Cope said.