STEAMBOAT SPRINGS - Roughly five minutes into Tuesday's Eagle Valley-Steamboat Springs soccer tilt the skies opened up.-
It started with a slight drizzle before turning into an all out downpour. It smelt like snow.-
By the 10-minute mark it was evident the slop from the rain on the field was going to carry over to the play.-
It seemed like the first goal was going to win.-
In a game dominated by midfield play, Steamboat was the first to score on a beautiful effort by senior Hanson Buchner.-
In the 35th minute, Buchner took a ball from John Vande Velde at the top of the 18 and- weaved through a trio of Devils defenders. He poked a goal in with his toe, sending the Sailors to a 1-0 win.-
"That was big for sure," Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. "It was sloppy. Even conditions aside we felt our play needed to be better. But they did the defensive work and held onto the game. We take away the positives and get another win in league which is big."
Each side, amidst soaked jerseys and water gushing from the bottoms of soles with each step, struggled to get anything going in the offensive zone.-
The Devils consistently crowded their own box, not allowing for the Sailors (5-4 overall, 4-3 in Western Slope League) to find much. Conversely Eagle Valley had some decent runs in the first half, mainly by junior David Ortiz, but could never handle Steamboat's defenders.-
Finally Buchner took control. On a play that was close to offsides, Buchner finally broke through.-
"It was just a little loss of concentration," Eagle Valley coach Bratzo Horruitiner said. "We created some opportunities. I thought we generated more opportunities than Steamboat, we just couldn't put it away. We both deserved to win and Steamboat walked away with it. I knew if we make a mistake, we'd pay for it."
In the second half, Steamboat blanketed Ortiz with a defender in front and back, completely taking Eagle Valley's offensive push out of the game.-
Led by the play of Peyton Trask and Ryan Walker, Steamboat got through with a scrappy win.-
"We'll play scrappy when we need to," Bohlmann said. "But we want to clean things up when we're in possession of the ball."
Steamboat, after losing three straight, has looked mightily better. The team is 2-1 in its last three, the only loss a 1-0 defeat to Class 4A's No. 3 team Evergreen.-
"We've responded very well," Bohlmann said. "Last week was a fantastic week for us."
A young Eagle Valley team fell to 3-6 overall and 2-5 in league play.-
Steamboat next plays at 11 a.m. Saturday at Rifle. Eagle plays at 2 p.m. Tuesday against Delta.-