Sailors, Huskies to tangle in soccer at 6 p.m. today |

Sailors, Huskies to tangle in soccer at 6 p.m. today

Luke Graham

Steamboat Springs soccer player Katie Hostetler looks to make a quick pass during practice Wednesday evening at Gardner Field. Steamboat will face Battle Mountain tonight at home in a game that was originally scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. The junior varsity game will begin at 4 p.m. followed by the varsity game at 6 p.m.

— The cluster at the top of the Western Slope girls soccer league should start to sort itself by the end of the weekend.

Palisade, Glenwood Springs, Battle Mountain and SteamĀ­boat Springs high schools all come into today with just one league loss.

Steamboat (3-1 overall, 2-1 in league play) and Battle Mountain (6-1, 5-1) are scheduled to renew the league's best rivalry at 6 p.m. today at Gardner Field in Steamboat, a game that has a significant effect on the league race.

The game might hold more significance for the Sailors. Because of weather and postponements, Steamboat has played just two games in the past 23 days. The Sailors also lost, 3-1, to the Huskies earlier in the year.

Despite the loss, Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said the Sailors started to find their identity in the second half of that game.

"That was our fourth half of the season, and it finally started to click," Bohlmann said. "When we look back, that second half at this point of the season was the turning point. Our soccer since then has been good."

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The Huskies come into the game with their own incentives. Battle Mountain is coming off its first loss of the year against Palisade and with a game already in hand against Steamboat, the Huskies could put themselves in the driver's position of the league.

"Both teams start good kids who are good students and don't take shortcuts," Battle Mountain coach Dave Cope said. "That makes it really fun. It's two teams that deserve success. We'll see who finds it."

In the earlier game, Steamboat jumped out to a 1-0 lead before Battle Mountain took control of the game and tempo in the first half.

Cope said his team learned from that game that it could come back from being down. With Steamboat having played sparingly in the past couple of weeks, Bohlmann said he expects a spirited Sailors team to show up.

The game also starts a crucial stretch for the Sailors.

Steamboat plays a nonleague game Friday at Grand Junction High School before welcoming Palisade for an 11 a.m. tilt Saturday at Gardner Field.

"It's three (games) in three days," Bohlmann said. "We need to play efficiently, make sure that we take care of ourselves and positively get through."

If you go

What: Steamboat girls soccer vs. Battle Mountain

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: Gardner Field

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