Steamboat Springs High School senior Carter Kounovsky is fouled by Glenwood Springs High School junior Kenny Dardynski during Thursday's game in Steamboat. Kounovsky went on to score a penalty shot.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School senior Carter Kounovsky is fouled by Glenwood Springs High School junior Kenny Dardynski during Thursday's game in Steamboat. Kounovsky went on to score a penalty shot.

Sailors soccer grabs shutout, looks forward to Saturday showdown

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— All forward Carter Kounovsky needed was a couple of cracks at it, and the senior took advantage in a big way Thursday night.

Playing at home for the first time since Sept. 5, the Steamboat Springs High School soccer team used Kounovsky’s pair of goals to grab a 2-0 shutout against Glenwood Springs. In the process, the Sailors pushed their win streak against the Demons to seven games and scored three crucial points in the 4A Western Slope league standings.

With the win, Steamboat (5-2 overall, 5-2 Western Slope League) inched closer to Summit and Battle Mountain, who sit atop the league.

“It’s something we deal with on a daily basis, especially as tight as the league is right now,” Steamboat head coach Rob Bohlmann said about league standings. “Every moment counts. Every possession is important. Every tackle, every sub play, it’s all important.”

Kounovsky, who Bohlmann called the “difference maker,” put the Sailors up 1-0 in the 16th minute, threading a penalty kick past the Glenwood Springs keeper. One minute into the second half, Kounovsky again found the back of the net off a pretty feed from Jack Salyer.

Bohlmann was pleased with the defensive effort his team put on display but found some flaws in his Sailors’ attack, especially with midfield possession and ball movement.

“We really struggled to find the possession,” Bohlmann said. “Very rarely did we see four and five passes in a row. We did a nice job, especially in the first half, of finding the early ball to get behind them. That was working, but other than that, we just didn’t have the possession in the midfield.”

Playing against a much smaller Glenwood Springs team, Steamboat recorded 11 shots to the Demons’ five. In his post-game meeting with his players, Bohlmann also praised the play of junior keeper Jake Andersen, who locked up the few Glenwood Springs opportunities near the net.

The Sailors’ next game Saturday could go a long way in proving where Steamboat sits across the 4A landscape. Coming to town are the Evergreen Cougars, who narrowly lost to state champion Battle Mountain in last year’s playoffs and are the 11th-ranked team in the state this season.

“We’ll just have to come out a little better mentally,” Kounovsky said. Friday night, "we weren’t the most mentally sharp. If we come out with a good mentality, I think we’ll have a very good shot at taking (Evergreen) down.”

With the season at about the midway point, Bohlmann called Saturday’s showdown with Evergreen a “great opportunity” to get the Sailors on the playoff radar.

“If we can get a good result and play with them, it’s going to really carry a lot of weight for us,” Bohlmann said.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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