Steamboat Springs girls soccer falls to Palisade

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Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that Steamboat and Palisade tied in regulation. Palisade won in the shootout, which did not count for points but was played to determine placing in the league.

In hindsight, Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer coach Rob Bohlmann admitted it was something his team should have worked on.

But the Sailors already were in a tough spot, coming off the unusually late spring break and jumping right into the four-team Western Slope playoff.

Steamboat tied 2-2 at Palisade but, in the end, fell via penalty kicks.

It’s understandable not to practice. With little time to prepare for Tuesday’s opening game — the team played Summit on Monday — there wasn’t much time to practice.

Bohlmann said he thought about practicing the team early Tuesday while the team was warming up but thought that in the end, it sent the wrong message.

“That sends the kind of a message that we’re thinking we might not get this done in regulation,” he said. “It was a psychological thing that we’re not going to think about this. In hindsight, was that a mistake? I don’t look back at it as it was.”

The game was strikingly similar to the first time the two teams played, a 1-0 Palisade win. Steamboat controlled play but couldn’t get the result.

The Sailors started the game well, Alice Holmquist giving Steamboat a 1-0 lead in the first five minutes on a shot at the top of the 18.

Palisade tied it at 1 going into halftime, setting up a dramatic finish.

The Bulldogs, an opportunistic bunch, won a ball in the last four minutes and took a 2-1 lead.

But Steamboat answered with a minute remaining. Katie Arnis served a ball into Natalie Bohlmann, who drew out the defender and pounded home the equalizer.

Steamboat had the run of play in the two, five-minute overtime periods, generating three prime opportunities, but it couldn’t capitalize.

Steamboat got great play from freshman Jordi Floyd, who moved to the left back position. Floyd won balls and was precise in serving up golden opportunities, including the ones in overtime.

“She was a game-changer for us,” Bohlmann said.

The playoff picture gets murky now. With four guaranteed slots from the league, and with Durango and Montrose dropping into the league picture, Bohlmann said Thursday’s third-place game against Glenwood is pivotal.

The two teams play at 5 p.m. at Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs. Steamboat previously beat Glenwood, 3-1, this season.

Battle Mountain and Palisade play for the championship.

“To really up our ante and build our portfolio a bit, we need to win that third-place game,” Bohlmann said.

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

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