Steamboat Springs High School freshman Tatum Sear, right, brings the ball up field during Saturday's game against Delta.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School freshman Tatum Sear, right, brings the ball up field during Saturday's game against Delta.

Freshman leads Steamboat soccer in victory

Sailors beat Delta, 6-0, improving to 5-0-1

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— Steamboat Springs High School freshman Tatum Sear just has that sense that she belongs. 

She’s unflappable. 

When she created a penalty kick with her speed late in Saturday’s soccer game against Delta, she didn’t look for an upperclassman to take the kick. Sear just stepped up and pounded the ball into the left corner, then turned around and celebrated with her teammates. 

She acted like she had been there before. The goal, Sear’s third of the game, capped a tidy 6-0 win, keeping Steamboat in control of its own destiny and in the driver’s seat of the Western Slope League.  

The Sailors are now 5-0-1 overall and 3-0 in the league. 

“They give me really good opportunities, so I try to take them,” said Sear, who has proved to be a game changer off the bench with her speed. “I wasn’t expecting to take (the penalty kick), but they said go for it. So I did.”

Sear highlighted what is becoming a scary Sailors attack. Playing against a hard-charging Delta team that picked up a surprising 4-2 win against Battle Mountain last week, Steamboat came out and dominated and had all but decided the game in the first 40 minutes. 

It started just 30 seconds in, when Jenna Peters pounded in a goal for a 1-0 lead. 

Sarah White knocked in a marvelous header off a corner from Joanie Bier in the 25th for a 2-0 lead. 

Then it became the Sear show. 

The freshman came in and immediately changed the game. The Panthers tried to use an offsides trap that Sear, with her speed, destroyed. The freshman made two good first touches on consecutive balls to pound in a goal in the 29th and another minutes later. 

“She was that one player that came in and changed the complexion a little bit,” Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. “She was tenacious. She was creative. (Saturday) was a very solid group effort.”

Bohlmann was able to sub freely for most of the game, and the Sailors’ level of play never dropped. 

The deep bench wore down Delta, something that looks like it could become a trademark of this Steamboat team. 

“It was one of those days where you’re like, ‘Man, it was just good,’” Bohlmann said. “When you make changes and the consistency is there. Even in certain situations it changed the complexion of the game.”

Steamboat got a goal from Sydney Bauknecht in the 54th minute before Sear sealed the day’s work in the 74th with her penalty kick. 

The Sailors’ schedule up to this point has been favorable, with the team having lots of opportunities to practice and a light game schedule. 

That changes this week. 

Steamboat plays at 6 p.m. Thursday at home against Eagle Valley and at 1 p.m. Saturday at Glenwood Springs.

“We’re pretty confident,” Bauknecht said. “I think the biggest challenge is going to be Glenwood. We just have to keep up that mentality we had” Saturday.

— To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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