Steamboat Springs senior Megan Stabile collides with a Grand Junction player while getting a loose ball during a soccer game Wednesday afternoon at Gardner Field. The Sailors won, 4-2.

Photo by John F. Russell

Steamboat Springs senior Megan Stabile collides with a Grand Junction player while getting a loose ball during a soccer game Wednesday afternoon at Gardner Field. The Sailors won, 4-2.

Steamboat Springs girls soccer beats Grand Junction

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— Things always seem a little out of whack during the spring sports season, but the Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team has been hit hardest with games postponed because of weather.

“It’s been five weeks, and we’ve had three games,” coach Rob Bohlmann said. “We’re seeing how we evolve as a group because we’ve seen a lot of different things.”

It was all on display Wednesday against Grand Junction.

Steamboat was bad, it was OK, it was superb and it was good enough for a 4-2 win.

The Sailors started slow, possibly playing their worst first 10 minutes of soccer this season.

With Grand Junction having a smaller roster because of spring break, it looked like Steamboat would have a chance to win easily. But in the fourth minute, Grand Junction’s Leah Swander pounded in a long shot for a 1-0 lead.

Steamboat responded in the 13th, when Alice Holmquist juked one defender and made a run up the right side. She crossed to senior Megan Stabile, who one-timed it to tie it at one.

Still, Steamboat had possession but couldn’t seem to connect from midfield to the attacking third.

“We were very unhappy with the start,” Bohlmann said. “You could see that script. We had real bad body language from all 11 players but specifically seven or eight players. We were really not sharp. We were not engaged mentally or physically in warmups.”

Things got more interesting in the 55th, when Grand Junction’s Sterlie Quist won a 50/50 ball and shot one to the far post for a 2-1 lead.

Then Steamboat finally found something in the last 15 minutes.

It started with the goal of the young season. Steamboat tied it at two in the 66th when freshman Mackenzie Gansmann made a run up the left side and got to a ball in the corner and at the end line. Gansmann was able to get a left foot on a high arching cross that perfectly found the foot of Ali Pougiales in the box for an equalizer.

“It was a flash of everything you’ve learned,” Pougiales said. “I knew when to hit it and where to hit it. When it went in, there was a tidal wave of endorphins that ran through my body.”

Steamboat got another goal in the 68th when Stabile wove her way through a gaggle of defenders. Two steps into the top of the box, she hit one with her right foot to give Steamboat a 3-2 lead. Finally in the 78th, Katie Arnis pounced on a rebound, giving Steamboat a 4-2 advantage.

The Sailors certainly weren’t their best, but they were able to play a ton of players, showing just how deep this team is.

The win against the Class 5A Grand Junction team gives Steamboat four points in the standings, something that will come in handy at the end of the season.

Steamboat (2-1) next plays at 6 p.m. Thursday at Eagle Valley then at 11 a.m. Saturday at home against rival Battle Mountain.

Bohlmann said that with a plethora of able players, a designated rotation still is being crafted.

“There isn’t a time frame,” he said. “If it’s tomorrow, we’ll do it tomorrow. If it’s all season, we’ll look at different combinations that are best for us. That’s a fantastic thing to have.”

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

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