Steamboat Springs High School senior Conor Garrecht-Connelly charges toward the goal during Thursday's game against Glenwood Springs.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School senior Conor Garrecht-Connelly charges toward the goal during Thursday's game against Glenwood Springs.

Steamboat soccer defeats Glenwood Springs, 2-0

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— After the parity — read: endless draws — the Western Slope boys soccer league saw in 2009, Thursday’s first game of significance in league play seemed to be going that way again.

Steamboat Springs and Glenwood Springs, fresh off two draws against each other last season, didn’t do anything to squash the idea of league-wide parity.

But thanks to a goal from Steamboat junior Enrique Lopez in the 35th minute and another in the 78th, that string of draws finally came to an end Thursday as the Sailors beat the Demons, 2-0, at Gardner Field. 

“When you play poor soccer and come away with a 2-0 win, something is working for you,” Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. “Goals are hard to come by. We got to move forward and clean things up.”

In a testy, yet sloppy game, the two teams again looked like they would be bound for a draw. Initially, each team seemed destined to create chances but never see the dividends.

Lopez’s shot in the seventh minute ricocheted off Glenwood goalkeeper Cane Albrecht’s hands. In the 17th, Steamboat botched a four on two, and in the 19th Steamboat’s Tyler Theis’ shot on a cross from Hanson Buchner was just wide.

Glenwood’s best opportunity to take the lead came in the 33rd on a corner kick. The ball cleared the initial wave of defenders and ping-ponged around the box before getting cleared.

Finally in the 35th, Lopez found himself with space, the ball at his feet and inside the left side of the box nearly parallel with the goal. In a goal that speaks to Lopez’s technical skills, the junior lobbed a bending shot just over Albrecht’s head and just inside the left post for a 1-0 Steamboat lead.

“I got the ball. I was looking everywhere, and I saw no one near the goal,” Lopez said. “I saw the goalie and two defenders near me and the back post open. I just chipped it in.”

Glenwood (1-3 overall, 0-1 in the Western Slope League) took control in the second 40 minutes and had several golden opportunities for the equalizer. In the 45th, Steamboat keeper Joey Haight struggled to handle a throw-in, but he was saved by a clear from his defense.

Then in the 48th, Glenwood’s Michael McGraw ripped a free kick from just outside the 18 that Haight deflected. On the ensuing corner kick, Glenwood got the ball into the box, before Steamboat freshman Michael Wong headed the ball away at the goal line.

The Demons made it tougher on themselves in the 58th, when senior Otoniel Moreno drew a red card, leaving Glenwood down a player for the remainder of the game.

“They were close chances,” Glenwood coach John Mount said. “We had a free kick outside the 18 that was close and a lot of corner kick opportunities. That first goal is always huge, and Steamboat getting the first goal (Thursday) was huge for them.”

In the 78th, Kai Rogers fed Lopez the ball just inside the box, and the junior finessed one into the left corner for a 2-0 lead.

Steamboat, at 2-0-1 at this early juncture, now assumes control in the Western Slope League with the win. The team next plays at 1 p.m. Saturday at home against Salida.

— To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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