Sophomore Mackenzie Gansmann makes a sliding shot to score in the first half of the Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team's victory against Glenwood Springs.

Photo by John F. Russell

Sophomore Mackenzie Gansmann makes a sliding shot to score in the first half of the Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team's victory against Glenwood Springs.

Steamboat girls soccer tops Glenwood Springs in key conference game

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— With just two regular-season games left on the schedule, Steamboat Springs coach Rob Bohlmann and Glenwood Springs coach Steve White understand that every game is important.

On Tuesday night at Gardner Field, the Steamboat Springs High School girls team faced off against Glenwood in a pivotal Western Slope Conference contest. Both teams were missing key players, but in the end, Steamboat was able to capitalize on several scoring opportunities to walk off the field with a 4-0 win.

“We’ve been very consistent in our play this year, and we played quite well against Wheat Ridge and very well in a lot of our games. … We played just as well as we have been between the 18s, but it was the efficiency in the both the defending and attacking thirds that was the difference tonight. For us to be really efficient in putting away the opportunities that we created early on is something that really came together tonight.”

The only bad news for the Sailors came minutes before Tuesday night’s kickoff. Starting goalkeeper Ocoee Wilson, who has been struggling with a knee injury for most of the season, strained her knee and did not start. With the Sailors other goalkeeper Caliegh Green also out with a knee injury, the Sailors were looking for volunteers to step between the pipes.

Bohlmann said Sara Stout stepped up and impacted the game with several key saves including deflecting a hard Glenwood shot safely over the goal midway through the half. Both coaches thought that a Glenwood goal at that point could have ignited a comeback for the visiting team.

“It’s not an easy thing,” Bohlmann said. “To have to spring that on Sara at the last minute shows the type of teammate she is and what kind of athlete she is.”

Glenwood also faced a major challenge Tuesday night with seven varsity players missing for academic awards and other commitments that left a freshman starting in goal.

“We had some internal team issues. We had seven of our varsity players that start, gone,” White said. “I’m not using that as an excuse at all, we knew we had to maintain ourselves on the field and keep possession. If we would have held better possession, I think we would have a little different outcome tonight. But Steamboat played a great game and they played really well. I have a lot of respect for Rob and the Steamboat girls.”

The scoring in Tuesday night’s game was all Steamboat Springs. Senior Alice Holmquist netted the first goal, and what turned out to be the winning goal, on a free kick with 34 minutes, 54 seconds left in the first half. Teammate Mackenzie Gansmann, a sophomore, followed up by taking a pass from teammate Jordi Floyd and making a great run up the far sideline with 39:44 left in the first half. She made a sliding shot to the back of the net to beat the Glenwood goalkeeper.

“This is a huge week,” Steamboat assistant Erin Early said. “Every single game they are taking it one step at a time. … They’ve had physical challenges, mental challenges all these battles throughout the season and this team is one that has an immense amount of heart and passion for the game and they will win for each other and do anything they can for each other.

"We needed a result tonight in our favor and to respond this positively to the pressure was a collective effort and they were awesome.”

In the second half, Gansmann scored her second goal of the night after connecting with a bouncing ball in front of the net with 34:53 left in the game. The final goal came off of the foot of sophomore Natalie Bohlmann who took the ball away from a Glenwood defender and fired a long shot from well outside the 18 to score.

“Coming out here we had a lot of expectations,” Gansmann said. “This is a really good team that we’ve played. We really had to come together and just take our training and put it to the test. Seems like we did pretty well working all together and rising to the occasion.”

Steamboat is now 5-6 for the season with two games remaining. Steamboat will host Rifle at 6 p.m. Thursday evening. The final regular season game will come at 6 p.m. May 2 against Fruita and also will be played at home.

Glenwood will face Palisade at home Thursday night. The Demons lost to the Bulldogs in the first game of the year, 1-0.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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