The boys’ football team at Steamboat Springs High School made a habit of going to bed early. It hasn’t necessarily been detrimental as the team have won their last four games and allowed good goals, rather than easy goals.
On Wednesday, the Sailors scored a first goal in Eagle Valley and played from behind all night. Steamboat dominated the second half, but failed to equalize. The Devils left Gardner Field with the 2-1 victory.
“It was a really good team,” said Sailors junior forward Laiken Roth. “They surprised us in the first half, but overall I thought in the end we really showed them what we were made of. It’s not lucky that we ended up losing. We will have them next time.
Eagle Valley was more ready than Steamboat was to start the game. The Sailors were still waking up as the Devils scored two minutes into the game. Halfway through the first half, Sailors sophomore Charlie Reisman took a free kick about 25 yards and arched the ball into the net to tie it up. The Sailors had some momentum, but with 12 minutes remaining, Eagle Valley won a battle in goal to go up 2-1.
“We love how resilient these guys are, how they support each other and support each other,” said Rob Bohlman, Steamboat boys head coach. “The game was different from the previous two games in that we didn’t have a good (first half). But it was the same as we continued to support each other, to find a rhythm, to settle down. The second half was fantastic.
After half-time everything changed. The Sailors controlled the pace and got 10 times more shots than the Devils.
“We won the second half,” said Joe Scoppa, senior from Steamboat.
Steamboat junior Laiken Roth hit the soccer ball as Eagle Valley’s last defenseman slipped in. Roth’s strong foot kept control and he headed for the net with just the goalie between him and the tying goal. He took three long strides as Devils goaltender sophomore Jorge Bardales stepped forward. Roth kicked the ball off the left side of the net, far from Bardales’ reach. The crowd roared as they watched the ball roll closer and closer to the goal line, but it slipped away from the goal post.
Roth was beside himself and his teammates were consoling him. There was more than 30 minutes to play. The Marins still had time to score.
Two minutes later, the Sailors almost scored again, but Bardales put his finger on the ball and pushed it over the crossbar.
Bardales kept Eagle Valley in the lead as sailors bombarded him with high chances.
“We didn’t keep our cool when we received the ball. I feel like we’ve gotten a little too frantic, ”said Roth. “I knew we were on the ground and we knew we had to equalize. We just had to keep a calm state of mind.
With five minutes remaining, junior Cam Daly took a free kick from the distant sideline about 30 yards. Remembering his victory over Summit last week, Daly sent the ball to the net. He drank in the top corner of the goal.
With 30 seconds to go, the Marins took a corner. All the players rushed in, including goaltender Charlie Welch, to help put the ball in the net. Despite their best efforts, the ball did not return.
The result was not what they wanted, but the sailors were not disappointed.
Eagle Valley 2, Steamboat Springs 1
SS 1 0 – 1
VE 2 0 – 2
VE – Goal, 37:47
SS – Charlie Reisman, free kick, 20:25
VE – Logan Betz, 11:43
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.