GYPSUM — Eight days ago, Steamboat Springs soccer dropped four goals during an 11-minute span against Eagle Valley in a 4-1 win.
The Devils made the Sailors work for three points on Friday at Hot Stuff Stadium in Gypsum as the Sailors came away with a 3-2 victory. Steamboat needed two goals in the second half to break a 1-1 tie.
“Our biggest issue was getting behind them,” Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. “We were just playing it forward with a little bit too big of a ball, too much weight, and with not enough of an angle. Had we cleaned that up a bit more, then I think we would have separated a little more. I thought Eagle was playing well. They’re such an improved program, and No. 9 is a player.”
Alice Holmquist raced down the right side in the 55th minute and put her shot into the roof of the Eagle Valley net.
“I just saw this gap right down the middle,” Holmquist said. “I just figured I would go for it. I had my momentum, so I kept on going until I was behind (the defense).”
Jordan Floyd converted a penalty kick in the 66th to add what would be much needed insurance. That’s because the Devils weren’t done. Mariel Gutierrez, the aforementioned No. 9, ripped a laser from 25 yards out to close it to 3-2.
“I’m ecstatic. We did exactly what we came out to do versus this team. (Steamboat’s) a great team,” Devils coach Stephen Baxter said. “We worked on a few things. We met their through-ball, like we decided, and trained and practiced.”
Eagle Valley closed the gap between keeper Jackie Kelly and the defense, had Kelly charge out and didn’t require its defenders to hold the line because Steamboat’s attackers were a bit faster,
Maybe the coin flip was an omen. This has been a bit of a cause celebre in Eagle Valley’s camp with the Devils being 0-6 on the toss. How much this actually impacts the game is questionable. But captain Reya Green and Maggie Gilman were pretty pumped after their pregame victory.
Steamboat started with Mackenzie Gansmann to Madison Ruppel during the fifth minute, but Eagle Valley had an answer. Just minutes later, Gutierrez threaded a beautiful pass to Lauren Thorpe. Thorpe did just what one should do on a breakaway, draw the goalie out and go far post.
Getting Others Involved
That was only the second goal of the season for an Eagle Valley player not named Gutierrez. No. 9 had 11 of the Devils’ 12 goals coming into this game (Devon Green).
While there’s nothing wrong with Gutierrez scoring, it’s good to get others into the offense to keep opposing defenses guessing.
There is no rest for the weary. Steamboat Springs (3-2 both overall and in the Slope) was spending the night in Grand Junction before facing the Tigers today. Eagle Valley (2-5 overall and 1-4 in the Slope) hosts Delta today.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.