Kiersten Henry answered it three minutes in. Haley Brookshire did so 13 minutes in, and Henry again did it in the 20th minute.
After wading through slow starts and a lack of early scoring punch through two games, the Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team solved the sluggish starts, lighting up the scoreboard early Thursday against Rifle at Gardner Field in Steamboat.
Steamboat got goals from four players and controlled the pace of play from the opening whistle, running away with a 6-0 win.
The win improves Steamboat to 2-1 overall and 1-1 in league play.
“We did about as much as we could with this game,” Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. “We didn’t have the peaks and valleys. The play was pretty consistent. We just keep moving forward now.”
The Sailors were never really challenged Thursday, as the Bears were more content to try to limit Steamboat’s chances instead of looking for their own.
With Rifle’s defense playing loosely, Steamboat appeared to have opportunity after opportunity.
Henry got the scoring going early, bookending goals around a rip from Brookshire in the first half. Steamboat senior Mia Quick scored goals in the 46th and 58th minutes, before defenseman Hope Scott finished it with a goal in the 70th minute.
“We’re getting there,” said Rifle coach Jennie DeHamer, noting the field at Gardner was the fastest the Bears had seen all season. “Slowly but surely, but we’re definitely making progress. These girls work hard. That’s where we’re going to go.”
Bohlmann said he was pleased with the effort and especially the opening of the game, which he said was instrumental in Steamboat’s success.
He said although Steamboat doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses, the biggest jump the team can take is in the mental approach to the game.
“The girls just kind of did what the game was telling them to do,” he said. “They seized the moment, and it was good.”
Steamboat now prepares to play rival Moffat County on Saturday. The game was scheduled to be played in Moffat County, but the Bulldogs’ field wasn’t ready.
Instead, the game will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Gardner Field.
“We’re just working on consistently being sharp,” Bohlmann said. “It’s playing with passion in training and games and trying to eliminate the peaks and valleys. We want to keep it more of a consistent thing.”