Glenwood Springs High School's Lilly McSwain, left, is chased by Steamboat Springs' Suzanne Lyon during Thursday's match at Gates Soccer Park in Glenwood Springs. The Sailors won, 3-2.

Jon Mitchell/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Glenwood Springs High School's Lilly McSwain, left, is chased by Steamboat Springs' Suzanne Lyon during Thursday's match at Gates Soccer Park in Glenwood Springs. The Sailors won, 3-2.

Steamboat soccer tops Glenwood in league tournament, waits on state playoff announcement

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— Sailors head coach Rob Bohlmann is hoping a 3-2 win against Glenwood Springs on Thursday night has put the Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team in a good position to earn a bid for the state playoffs.

But the only thing that is certain in the Western Slope League's murky playoff picture is that the win gives the Sailors a third-place finish in the standings. The rest will be left to the Colorado High School Activities Association committee that is in charge of filling out the final tournament bracket by the end of the weekend.

Battle Mountain topped Palisade, 1-0, on Thursday night to finish in first place with Palisade taking second.

The top two teams each will earn one of the 24 berths to the state tournament, and it appears Montrose and Delta will get the remaining two state playoff berths awarded to the Western Slope.

Still, Bohlmann is hopeful that Steamboat’s showing this week and its play this season will earn the team one of eight at-large berths to the tournament. That decision will not come until after the CHSAA committee meeting Sunday morning.

Steamboat plays in a league that includes two divisions: Steamboat faces Battle Mountain, Eagle and Summit County in the Eastern Division, and the Western Division includes Delta, Rifle, Glenwood Springs and Palisade. Teams within a division play one another twice each season, and teams from the different divisions play one another once each season. At the end of the season, the top four teams meet in a tournament to help decide league finishes and post-season berths. The Western Slope League also shares its playoff berths with teams from Montrose and Durango.

Teams are awarded points for wins, including four points for beating 5A teams, three points for 3A and 4A teams and one point for ties. At the end of the regular season, Battle Mountain, Palisade and Steamboat tied with 31 points.

The final standings in the Western Slope League played out this week in Glenwood with Battle Mountain and Palisade earning the right to play in Thursday night’s league championship game. Ahead of Thursday's matchup, Battle Mountain defeated Glenwood, 3-1, and Steamboat and Palisade played to a 2-2 tie Tuesday. Both teams were awarded points for the tie, but Palisade earned the right to play for the title after beating Steamboat in an unofficial shootout.

On Thursday, Glenwood jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the third-place game with Steamboat after Ellie Austin scored in the 10th minute.

But Glenwood was unable to fend off Steamboat's comeback that included three unanswered goals. The Sailors Kelbi Rogers tied the game with a first-half goal, and teammate Katie Arnis put the Sailors up in the 23rd minute with another.

Megan Stabile netted the game-winning goal about 15 minutes into the second half, and goalkeeper Ocoee Wilson made it stand up with several late-game saves.

Glenwood’s Lilly McSwain pulled the Demons back into the game by scoring in the 79th minute, but that was as close as the Demons would get. Steamboat held on for the 3-2 victory and will have to wait to hear where they fall in the state playoff picture.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com

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