Steamboat Springs High School junior Alice Holmquist goes for the ball during Saturday's game against Battle Mountain.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School junior Alice Holmquist goes for the ball during Saturday's game against Battle Mountain.

Steamboat Springs girls soccer ties Battle Mountain

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Steamboat Springs High School senior Megan Stabile fights for control of the ball during Saturday's game against Battle Mountain.

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Steamboat Springs High School senior Ali Pougiales kicks the ball during Saturday's game against Battle Mountain.

— The two preeminent girls soccer teams on the Western Slope waged a 100-minute battle Saturday at Gardner Field.

What else would anyone expect when Battle Mountain and Steamboat Springs get together?

The two schools, who have challenged each other for supremacy for years, couldn’t settle things in regulation or two five-minute overtime periods, each going home with a point after a 1-1 tie.

“In both communities, women’s soccer has a great culture,” Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. “It’s a good thing for both programs year in and year out. The girls know of it when they come in as a freshmen. It’s something the two communities aspire to.”

It always seems to go this way when the two meet in Steamboat.

From the onset, it was readily apparent that was going to be the case. The two teams traded possession for much of the first 40 minutes, with chances few and far between.

Finally, in the first 20 minutes of the second half, the midfield started to open up. The advantage looked to be Steamboat’s, as the Sailors were able to sub in fresh legs at every turn. The Huskies, however, were the ones to capitalize.

In the 56th minute, Battle Mountain’s Morgan Croke caught Steamboat on a counter attack. Croke dribbled the ball up the left side and got into the box. She perfectly crossed the ball to Rosie Davies just inside the top of the penalty area. Davies settled the ball and poked one into the far corner for a 1-0 lead.

Steamboat immediately answered. Megan Stabile had a free kick in the 58th that deflected outside the box, where freshman Jordi Floyd hit a low, left-legged shot to the far post for the equalizer.

“That was a high-quality game,” Huskies coach Dave Cope said. “There was a sense that every possession could determine the outcome of the game. That’s fun when it’s like that.”

Neither team had great opportunities as the regulation wound down.

Steamboat controlled play in the two overtime periods, its fresher legs apparent. Steamboat missed a golden opportunity two minutes into the first overtime when a ball was just in front of the net, but Huskies keeper Mindy Vickers covered.

Toward the end of the first overtime, Floyd had a free kick that sneaked just wide of the post.

“Steamboat away is always a battle,” Vickers said. “We know that coming in. On their field, it’s going to be determined by the final whistle if not go to overtime.”

The tie puts Battle Mountain in a good position. The Huskies improved to 5-0-1 and maintained pace with Palisade at the top of the standings.

Steamboat goes to 3-1-1, but again showed its depth. Finding where and how all those quality pieces fit is Bohlmann’s next challenge.

“The story this game and even bigger story this week is the group we have,” he said. “We have quality and depth in our quality. This was our third game in four days, and it was something we had to utilize. It was very beneficial for us and over the past four days.”

Battle Mountain next plays at 6 p.m. Monday at Delta. Steamboat plays at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Eagle Valley.

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

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