Steamboat Springs High School senior Peyton Trask watches as the ball he headed goes toward the goal. He scored the team's first goal during Saturday's match against Glenwood Springs High School. The Sailors won, 4-1.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School senior Peyton Trask watches as the ball he headed goes toward the goal. He scored the team's first goal during Saturday's match against Glenwood Springs High School. The Sailors won, 4-1.

Steamboat Springs soccer team keeps playoff hopes alive

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— This just win mantra is serving the Steamboat Springs High School soccer team well.

After a brief stretch in October left the Sailors trying to define their team, and put their backs to the wall in the process, Steamboat has recovered and has a chance to make the playoffs.

Its latest win, a 4-1 effort against an undermanned Glenwood Springs team, still leaves Steamboat with some work to do.

But since a 4-2 loss to Palisade on Sept. 14, Steamboat is 6-2, both losses coming to top-three teams.

Here is where things get interesting. The Western Slope League is guaranteed four playoff spots.

Battle Mountain has the top spot locked in. But Montrose and Durango further complicate matters. Durango, via a 4-2 win Saturday, has 33 points and a playoff spot.

The rest sets up like this:

• Montrose has 29 points with one game remaining Tuesday against Fruita-Monument, a team it beat 4-2 earlier in the season.

• Summit, assuming a win Tuesday at Rifle against a team it should beat, would have 30 points with one game left.

• Steamboat is at 27 points with one game remaining, a 6 p.m. tilt Thursday at Summit.

Should Steamboat win Thursday, it would be tied with Summit. Summit, however, holds the tiebreaker.

Still, Steamboat’s in a position to earn a playoff spot. There are 24 guaranteed spots and eight at-large bids. At-large bids are determined by the MaxPreps Freeman Ranking, league poll, head-to-head competition and common opponents.

A win Thursday would look mighty good on the Sailors' resume.

“With the momentum we have going, psychologically, we’re feeling good,” Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. “Physically, we’ll be a lot fresher going. It scripts us going into that game playing to our full potential.”

On Saturday, Steamboat saw some of that potential. The Sailors took an early 1-0 lead on a header from Peyton Trask. But Glenwood answered in the 53rd minute with a Foster Gross goal to tie it at 1.

Positioned with momentum, the Demons couldn’t take advantage.

Three minutes later, Peter White and Jasper Good combined on the go-ahead goal, with White finishing, to take a 2-1 lead.

Finally, Mac Noel added a pair of goals on assists from Hanson Buchner for the final result.

“I think we can be a more attacking team,” said Noel, who has changed the complexion of the Steamboat team since his return. “We’re going to be able to be more of an attacking team than a defensive team.”

For Glenwood, it was another solid effort, with a score not quite indicative of the game. The Demons were without three starters Saturday and held on for as log as they could.

“One of the problems we’ve had is the commitment level hasn’t been high,” said Demons coach Steve White, who returned to coaching the boys side for the first time since 1998. “It’s a little bit of a restart for this program.”

Steamboat now readies for its all-important game with Summit, one that will decide its playoff future.

“We need to beat them,” Noel said. “We have to get the win to advance to the playoffs.”

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

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