Sailors beat Huskies, 3-0, nab league crown
EDWARDS — It wasn’t as a dramatic as President John F. Kennedy declaring that “a torch has been passed,” but it was a changing of the guard on Monday in Edwards.
Steamboat Springs soccer defeated Battle Mountain, 3-0, wresting the 4A Slope title from the three-time defending champion Huskies.
“It’s fantastic,” Sailors coach Rob Bohlmann said. “We’ve talked a lot about those milestones, those different steps in the journey. We really feel like a big part of this journey that we’re on this season was going back to a year ago and the character this group showed.”
Coach Bohlmann was talking about how Battle Mountain beat Steamboat twice resoundingly during the regular season on its way to a third league title. The two teams ended up meeting in the second round of the state playoffs in Edwards with the Sailors evening a 2-0 deficit, only to see Battle Mountain’s Logan Nash score the game-winner in overtime.
“It’s sounds corny, but it’s kind of like a dream come true, especially after last year,” Sailors senior goalie Ocoee Wilson said. “We knew what it was like to be this close and just miss out. We’ve just prepared all year not to let that happen again.”
Steamboat Springs (13-1 overall and 11-0 in the Slope) celebrated, popping off some confetti at midfield and then politely cleaning it up after the postgame handshake.
History repeating itself?
“Basically, today’s about Steamboat,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “You have to take your hat off to Steamboat. They have been a great adversary for our team the last four years. Congratulations to them. They left this field in tears last year and their season was over. It’s probably extra special for them to clinch it on our field.”
And herein is the rallying cry for Battle Mountain. The Sailors lost both regular season games to the Huskies in convincing fashion, managed to win their first-round playoff game and took Battle Mountain to the brink in Round 2.
Can the Huskies do the same? That was exactly the challenge coach Cope put to his team after Monday’s game.
To Battle Mountain’s credit this was a game for 60 minutes as opposed to the first meeting when the Sailors led 3-0 at the break on the way to a 5-0 victory.
Natalie Bohlmann fed Brooke Buchanan to break the tie in the 48th minute. That was an apropos reward for Buchanan who had several good runs up the right side as the second half started.
In the 59th, Steamboat got a corner kick and freshman Megan Salyer ended up bending it into the Huskies’ net. Tess Richie capped it late for Steamboat.
That made for a tough Senior Night for Nicole Lasater, Emily Cope, Valentina Montenegro, Jordan Denning and A.J. Davies.
Battle Mountain (10-3, 9-2) still has a lot for which to play in the regular season, not to mention the playoffs. The Huskies are at Evergreen today and then head to Palisade on Thursday.
“Hats off to them, but it was 0-0 until halftime,” Davies said. “Things happen. The best teams in the world lose. It’s not something unknown to every single person. We have to keep our heads up. We have two more games this week. This team still has pride and we’re going to carry ourselves forward.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.