Peter White breaks through the Evergreen defense in the first half. Steamboat only got a few shots in the period as Evergreen controlled the pace.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Peter White breaks through the Evergreen defense in the first half. Steamboat only got a few shots in the period as Evergreen controlled the pace.

Evergreen's 2nd-half goal sinks Steamboat soccer

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— When Evergreen High School’s soccer coach Peter Jeans approached Steamboat Springs High School coach Rob Bohlmann about playing a two-year series between the teams a few years ago, Bohlmann was immediately on board.

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Michael Wong fights for the ball Saturday against Evergreen.

The Sailors’ longtime coach knew he was agreeing to pin his Sailors against one of the state’s elite programs. He also knew it would present his squad with an opportunity to show where it stands with the playoffs in mind.

On Saturday night, the series came to a close when Evergreen scrapped its way to a 1-0 win against Steamboat, and Bohlmann said the Cougars were as good as advertised.

In the game’s opening minutes, Evergreen put heavy pressure on the Sailors defenders, but Steamboat adjusted quickly, to Bohlmann’s liking.

“After the first five minutes, I was like, ‘We could be in for a long night,’” Bohlmann said. “The guys did a fantastic job adjusting defensively and getting organized and were a lot more efficient.”

Led by leading scorer Jackson Ingram and sophomore sensation Adriano Borsa, the Cougars created several quality opportunities against Sailors keeper Jake Andersen, but none found the back of the net.

As the game wore on, the Sailors defensive effort picked up, stifling any of the Cougars’ looks, while Andersen swallowed up nine shots for Steamboat.

But Steamboat’s defense could only bend so far before Evergreen’s Griffin Dorsey crossed a ball into Alex Wormer, who headed one in for a score in the 57th minute.

“The goal they had was amazing,” Andersen said. “There was almost nothing we could have done about that. It was unlucky that it came for them instead of us, but we played great otherwise.”

Bohlmann called for one more big push from his squad in the game’s final 15 minutes, but the Cougars defense gobbled up any of the Sailors’ quality looks. Evergreen controlled possession for the majority of the contest and put 16 shots on goal to Steamboat’s five.

The loss dropped Steamboat to 5-3 overall on the season. But it also gave the Sailors a break from league play and an opportunity to show what they had against a possible playoff opponent down the road.

“A 1-0 result against them still gets our stock up at a pretty high level,” Bohlmann told his Sailors after the game. “Can you imagine, now that we’ve been there, done that when we get to playoffs, you are that much more prepared?”

Playoffs still are about a month away, and for now, Bohlmann said his team would revert its attention back to competing for a league championship. The Sailors will play at Eagle Valley on Tuesday.

Steamboat will play at home again against Rifle on Sept. 26, then host rival Battle Mountain on Oct. 3.

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

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