Steamboat Springs senior Jenna Peters, left, moves the ball up the field as Glenwood Springs' Hope Whitman defends.

Jeff Caspersen/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Steamboat Springs senior Jenna Peters, left, moves the ball up the field as Glenwood Springs' Hope Whitman defends.

Glenwood's fast start halts Steamboat girls soccer

Sailors girls fall to Demons, 4-1, on Saturday

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— Corey Gera could only recall one other game in which the conditions rivaled the windy, rainy weather that she and her Glenwood Springs girls soccer teammates faced on Saturday.

“There’s been just one other game close to this,” a shivering Gera said after a 4-1 win against visiting Steamboat Springs. “This is probably one of the worst. In a club game, I remember getting out and crying because it was so cold. We won, but I was so relieved to be over with it.”

High winds, sideways rain and brutal cold were the order of the afternoon Saturday. Grabbing sole possession of first place helped ease the chill for Gera and the Demons.

“Us and Steamboat were tied, so this definitely was a defining game for us,” said Gera, whose two second-half goals were instrumental in the win. “This makes a really big impact on where we stand.”

Glenwood improved to 5-1 overall and to 4-0 in league play. Steamboat dropped to 6-1-1 overall and to 4-1 in 4A Western Slope League. The teams will meet next in Steamboat on April 28.

A fast start propelled the Demons on Saturday.

Lilly McSwain and Michaela Mansfield linked up on a perfectly executed header in just the sixth minute. Mansfield sent a corner kick in from the right side that McSwain leaped high into the air to head.

“I’ve been coaching high school soccer for years and years and years, and that’s probably the prettiest header that I’ve seen,” Glenwood coach Steve White said. “She got up really high. She went way up and drove it right into the net.”

Steamboat quickly countered, squaring the count with a goal off the foot of Joanie Bier, who charged her way up the right side and buried a mid-range liner in the ninth minute.

“She was able to get behind the defense and finish it well,” Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann said.

Glenwood wrestled back the lead in the 18th minute, getting a goal from Hope Whitman that McSwain set up with a cross from the right corner. McSwain’s long pass made its way through traffic and might have been touched before reaching Whitman.

As halftime approached, the rain and wind kicked up a notch.

“It started out great,” Gera said. “You couldn’t ask for better soccer-playing weather, but once the wind came and then the rain, it felt like needles on your arm. At halftime, we were all crammed in the gym trying to grab as many clothes as we could.”

With the Demons still up, 2-1, Gera squashed Steamboat’s hope of a comeback, taking a pass from teammate Holly Brown and burying a mid-range shot in the 67th minute.

Brown and Gera connected again in the 76th minute, with Brown feeding Gera a short pass to set up Glenwood’s fourth and final goal.

“We had a pretty good run of play the first 15 minutes of the half, but we just weren’t able to get one in to tie it up,” Bohlmann said. “Today was Glenwood’s day. They did well to put away their opportunities.”

The Sailors look to get back on track against visiting Moffat County on Monday. The game, a makeup of a previously postponed meeting, will be at 6 p.m.

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