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Coming home

Sailors eager for first home game of the season

After playing the first four games of the 2003 season on the road, members of the Steamboat Springs High School soccer team can’t help but be exited about Friday’s game at Dudley Field.

“This is a big game for our team,” Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said.

Not because the Sailors will be facing the newly established Delta County team for the first time, but because the team is still reeling from the sting of a 2-1 loss to Moffat County on Sept. 4.

“Moffat County put us in our place,” Steamboat player Devin Borvansky said. “It was our first league game, and we may have went into it overconfident. That’s not going to happen again.”

For the past eight days, the Sailors have turned their anger and energy to preparing for Delta County and the team’s home opener.

The Delta County team is a combination of players from Delta, Cedaredge and Paonia and was created just this season. The team lost its opener 6-0 to Grand Junction Central on Sept. 6, but rebounded last Tuesday by defeating Palisade in a 4-3 thriller.

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“We have no idea what to expect this Friday,” Steamboat junior Alec Nelson said. “But we have to be prepared for whatever Delta brings.”

Steamboat opened this year with a strong showing on the road at the Alexander Dawson Tournament.

The Sailors beat Niwot (3-2), Kent Denver (3-0) and Bullis, Md., (3-1) en route to winning the tournament.

But the team suffered its biggest setback of the young season last week when Moffat County upset Steamboat in a 2-1 game.

“Practice has been solemn this week,” Bohlmann said.

Bohlmann said the Moffat County program has made big steps the past couple of years and a rivalry that dates back to the early 1990s was reaffirmed by the recent upset.

“I know our players are looking forward to playing Moffat again this year,” Bohlmann said. “But a lot of things have to happen before then.”

One of those things will be this Friday’s home opener in Steamboat. The game will begin at 4 p.m. Friday at Dudley Field.

— To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com