Defense key to title run |

Defense key to title run

— In 10 games this season, the Steamboat Futbol Club’s U-16 girls soccer team, coached by Jim Dudley, gave up just five goals.

During that same period, the team scored 30 goals and didn’t lose a game en route to winning the Challenge Division of the Colorado State Youth Soccer Association’s State League.

“Our defense was incredible,” Dudley said.

Steamboat finished with a 9-0-1 record and defeated the Aurora Sting on Saturday in a 2-1 game to secure the top spot.

The loss dropped the Sting to third behind the Vail Crush, which finished 8-0-2.

Dudley credited the team’s strong defense — led by Hannah Berglund, Hannah Brown, Carly Earp, Katie Truong and Mary Rachel Hostetter — for much of the team’s success this season.

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But Dudley said winning the league wouldn’t have been possible without the help of every player on the roster.

“At this level, everyone has to contribute,” Dudley said.

Players making contributions included Jenny Allen, Theresa Cutter, Liza Darlington, Amanda DeVos, Michelle Ficker, Melissa Krause, Lauren Ladley, Holly Mayer, Emily Metscher, Cassady Roberts, Miranda Schrock and Ellie Southworth.

“It was a great way to finish the year,” Dudley said about the game against the Sting. “It might have been our most challenging game of the season.”

The U-16 girls were one of 11 teams from Steamboat that played in the fall competitive soccer league.

The local teams played a 10-game schedule with a mix of home and away games beginning in late August. Although most of the Steamboat teams have completed their seasons, the league will not officially end until Nov. 12

Other top Steamboat teams include the U-18 girls team, which also was coached by Dudley. That team finished with a 5-3 record and is in third place in the standings.

The U-12 girls team, with a record of 7-3-0, is in third place, just one point behind second-place Bootleggers Blue, which finished with a 6-0-4 record.

The U-11 boys, coached by Mike Williams, are fourth, with a 7-2-1 record; the U-12 boys also finished fourth, at 5-3-1; and the U-14 girls placed fourth, at 7-2-1.

The U-13 boys were seventh, at 4-5-1; the U-14 boys also were seventh, at 4-5-1; and the U-11 girls were eighth, at 5-5-0. Steamboat’s U-15 girls placed 11th, and the U-14 girls placed 14th in the state.

— To reach John F. Russell, call 871-4209 or e-mail

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