Natalie Bohlmann races a pair of Wheat Ridge defenders for a loose ball Saturday. The Sailors hung in the game in the first half but eventually lost, 1-0.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Natalie Bohlmann races a pair of Wheat Ridge defenders for a loose ball Saturday. The Sailors hung in the game in the first half but eventually lost, 1-0.

Steamboat Springs girls soccer falls to Wheat Ridge

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Gabriel Bohlmann fights with a defender Saturday against Wheat Ridge.

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Megan Stabile tries to keep control of the ball Saturday against Wheat Ridge.

— The good news is the Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team still controls its own destiny.

But in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Class 4A’s No. 9 Wheat Ridge, there was a sense that an opportunity was missed.

The Sailors weren’t as good as the Farmers for much of the first 50 minutes Saturday, but Steamboat had chances to walk away with at least a draw.

“We just didn’t play as sharp as we have been,” Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. “In a 15-game season, you’re bound to have one of those games. But we feel great about the effort.”

It was a game set up featuring one of Class 4A’s best in Wheat Ridge. The Farmers traditionally have been one of the strongest programs in the state and showed why in the first half.

Wheat Ridge (8-1-1) dominated play, using its 3-5-2 formation to control the midfield and get premium chances in its attacking end.

But Steamboat was valiant, if not desperate, in thwarting first-half chances. Sailors freshman goalkeeper Ocoee Wilson was brilliant.

“We really felt good,” Wheat Ridge coach Dan Watkins said. “I thought we had seven or eight really good chances in the first half. But give Steamboat credit.”

Steamboat started to find a level of comfort in the second half. Although the field still was tilted toward Steamboat’s defensive end, the Sailors started to find something.

Steamboat had a good chance in the 56th when Tatum Sear dropped a ball to Megan Stabile. Stabile hit a perfect cross into the box, but Natalie Bohlmann couldn’t get enough of her left foot on the ball.

Finally, in the 63rd minute, the Farmers’ Elise Boisnard created a Steamboat turnover and hit a perfect through ball to Susan Whitney for a 1-0 lead.

“She’s a freshman and has had some big goals for us,” Watkins said. “She had great composure and was able to finish.”

Steamboat started to press forward and create opportunities, but Wheat Ridge’s defense was stellar. In the 73rd, Steamboat got its best chance. A goal kick sent the Sailors on a counter, where freshman Jordi Floyd lasered a ball that hit the bottom end of the crossbar and bounced directly down to the goal line.

“We definitely started to pick up the pace and felt more comfortable in the second half,” Steamboat senior Gabriel Bohlmann said. “We controlled our touches more.”

Steamboat (5-2-2) still has a chance in the Western Slope League Eastern Division. The Sailors have an interesting week ahead of them. The team plays at Rifle and Glenwood Springs on Thursday.

The team, which has leaned on its depth all year, will send a team to each opponent.

The Glenwood game will be key. The Demons are the winners of the past two league championships. Steamboat also traditionally struggles on Glenwood’s narrow field.

Both games begin at 6 p.m.

“It’s a program-wide effort on Thursday,” Rob Bohlmann said.

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

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