Steamboat soccer cruises past Palisade |

Steamboat soccer cruises past Palisade

Steamboat soccer team blasts Palisade, 8-2, at Gardner Field

Luke Graham

Steamboat Springs High School senior Evan DePuy battles Palisade's Samuel Tarin for control of the ball during Tuesday's game.

Steamboat Springs — It was just what the Steam­boat Springs High School soccer team needed. — It was just what the Steam­boat Springs High School soccer team needed.

— It was just what the Steam­boat Springs High School soccer team needed.

After weeks of trudging through the cluttered Western Slope League, Steamboat finally was able to take a little break Tuesday, cruising by Palisade, 8-2, at Gardner Field.

The win improves the Sailors to 5-3-1 overall and 3-2 in league play.

"It was real nice," said senior Evan DuPuy, who celebrated his birthday Tues­­day. "We've been practicing really hard, and to finally have a team we can beat is nice. I think we were trying to get the rhythm of the game early. We were not connecting that well in the first half, but we just went from there."

Enrique Lopez got the scoring started early, taking a cross from Brandon Marr in the second minute for a 1-0 Sailors lead. Steamboat wasn't its sharpest in the first half, however. The two teams traded possession for most the first 30 minutes.

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Filling in for normal keeper Joey Haight, Lance Ostrom made a huge sprawling save in the 28th minute on a point-blank shot from Palisade's Alfonso Medina to keep it a 1-0 Steamboat lead.

It proved to be the turning point in the game, as Steamboat went on a tear from there.

"To tell you the truth, I saw the kid kick it, and I had no idea what happened," said Ostrom, who came in to play the field in the second half and chipped in a pair of late goals. "My reactions kicked in."

Lopez added his second goal of the game in the 31st, when his initial shot deflected off Bulldogs keeper Connor Carey. Lopez back heeled the ball in for a 2-0 Steamboat lead.

The second half was all Steamboat.

Kai Rogers scored in the 42nd to make it 3-0. Medina added a Palisade goal to make it 3-1 before Ostrom scored two, Rogers added another and Hanson Buchner scored to make it 7-1 Steamboat.

Palisade's Brett Hawkins scored in the 70th and Steamboat's Mac Noel scored late to make it 8-2.

The game marked the halfway point in the Western Slope League schedule. Steamboat is in second place behind co-leaders Battle Mountain and Moffat County. With five games left, including rematches with the top teams, the league appears to again be destined for a tight finish.

"That's something we're trying to hunt," Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said about a second straight league title. "We are in the hunting position as opposed to the hunted. We have that extra motivation."

Steamboat next plays at noon Saturday at home against Eagle Valley.

— To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail

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