Steamboat Springs High School junior Joanie Bier moves the ball upfield in the first half of Thursday night’s game against Glenwood Springs. Steamboat lost, 2-1. The Demons won their second consecutive Western Slope League title with the win.

Photo by John F. Russell

Steamboat Springs High School junior Joanie Bier moves the ball upfield in the first half of Thursday night’s game against Glenwood Springs. Steamboat lost, 2-1. The Demons won their second consecutive Western Slope League title with the win.

Glenwood downs Steamboat girls soccer, 2-1, for 2nd league title

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The members of the Steamboat Springs girls soccer team, including Joanie Beir (No. 7), Hope Scott (No. 17) and Sarah White (No. 33), celebrate a first half goal in Thursday night's showdown with Glenwood Springs.

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Steamboat Springs' Shelby Struble settles the ball near midfield during Thursday's soccer game against Glenwood Springs.

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Steamboat Springs's Shelby Struble cuts off a Glewnood Springs pass near midfield during Thursday's soccer game against the Demons.

— One year could be an aberration. 

And normally when talk begins about the girls Western Slope League, Battle Mountain and Steamboat Springs roll off the tongue. 

Not any longer. 

Glenwood Springs — often criticized for it’s narrow home field, where opponents loathe to play — won their second consecutive league title Thursday, downing Steamboat Spri­ngs, 2-1. 

And with the way Glenwood did it — on slick and wide Gardner Field by beating Steamboat at its own game — proved that, yes, the Demons are again the class of the league. 

The Demons (12-1 overall and 11-0 in the league) controlled the middle of the field and used its endless stable of long-legged midfielders and forwards to control the pace of play for much of the night. 

“We always have such huge respect for Steamboat and Battle Mountain,” Glenwood coach Steve White said. “I’ve known (Steamboat coach) Rob (Bohlmann) for years. They always come well organized. It’s a big win for us to come up here and get it.”

Steamboat (8-2-1, 6-2) now preps for its busiest part of the season. With four league contests left, the Sailors still control the second spot in the league but were left Thursday wondering what could have been. 

Steamboat got the scoring started after an initial Glenwood rush. Megan Stabile crossed a ball into the box that took a big hop. Steamboat senior Joanie Bier won a 50/50 ball with Glenwood goalkeeper Dani Turley and finessed a header in for a 1-0 lead. 

But the Demons instantly responded. Lilly McSwain weaved through three defenders at the left side of the box and uncorked a shot that looked as though it had hit the crossbar and come out. 

But officials ruled the shot a goal, giving McSwain the equalizer and leaving the score tied at 1. 

The best chance either team saw the rest of the first half came when McSwain used her speed and size to get in on Steamboat keeper Hannah Barkey. Barkey came up with a point blank save and Steamboat’s Shelby Struble stopped a rebound at the left post to keep the score knotted.

Finally, in the 62nd minute, Glenwood caught Steamboat on a counter. The Demons had a good buildup and numbers with Micaela Mansfield controlling the ball in the center just outside the box. The junior found Hope Whitman on the right side of the box. Whitman went to the short side on Barkey, giving Glenwood a 2-1 lead. 

“The difference was their textbook counter,” Bohlmann said. “The speed they have and their ability — it was textbook. We were lured in. We had numbers forward and going into the attacking third and lost possession. They did well to counter.”

Bier had a direct kick in the 73rd minute, and Sydney Bauknecht had a shot in the waning moments, both sailing just over the cross bar. 

Steamboat next plays at 9 a.m. Saturday at Moffat County. 

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

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