Sailors take down Devils; showdowns Thursday |

Sailors take down Devils; showdowns Thursday

Luke Graham
Vail, CO Colorado
Eagle Valley's Nestar Escobar steals the ball from Steamboat's Enrique Lopez in the first half of Tuesday night's game in Steamboat Springs.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS– As Eagle Valley soccer coach Jason Rittmiller and Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann shook hands after Tuesday’s soccer game at Gardner Field, a 7-1 Sailors triumph, no good luck trinkets were exchanged.-

No rabbits feet, clover leafs or Battle Mountain voo-doo dolls.-

“You didn’t see the $200 I slipped into his pocket,” Bohlmann joked.-

But as the Western Slope League wraps its way into the final week and final games it appears Steamboat will need help on Thursday to win the Western Slope League.-

Eagle Valley is at Battle Mountain that day and Steamboat welcomes Moffat County. Both games are at 6 p.m. and will have coaches and those interested in the programs exchanging text messages all night.-

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Assuming the Sailors and Huskies both win, the tiebreaker will go to goals given up in league, where Battle Mountain holds the edge.

What’s this all mean?

If you’re a fan of Steamboat soccer, andyou’re hoping for a Sailors win on Thursday and a Battle Mountain loss or tie to Eagle Valley.

“We’ll see what happens with Battle Mountain,” Bohlmann said. “If it’s all tied up after that we’ll look at all the tiebreaker scenarios from there.”-

Before Steamboat could get to that point, it played an odd game with Eagle Valley. The Devils had the run of play for the first 20 minutes, consistently getting pressure into the Steamboat defensive third, but never coming up with a goal.-

“Possession was great and we did really well the first part of the game,” Devils coach Jason Rittmiller said. “I’m not sure what happened. Then you try (scoring) several times in a row and you get disappointed. From there it fell apart.”-

Steamboat (11-2-1, 7-1-1) got two first half goals from Mac Noel and one from Enrique Lopez to jump up 3-0.-

The Sailors’ John Vande Velde made it 4-0 two minutes into the second, and Noel got his third of the night in the 53rd to make it 5-0. Vincent Kretzschmar made it 6-0 and Tucker Olson made it 7-0 before Eagle Valley’s Nestor Escobar converted a header on a corner to get Eagle Valley on the board.-

Now the Western Slope turns to Thursday, where as rivalry games go nothing is guaranteed.-

“We’re just looking at Moffat,” Sailors keeper Carter Kounovsky said. “We know when they get past midfield they are looking to shoot. We have to step up and possess it all around.”-

For Eagle Valley (4-10, 2-7) a win against its rival would make the season more bearable.-

The Devils had the Huskies on the ropes in their first meeting, but Battle Mountain scored in overtime to take a 2-1 win.-

“We got a reason to win and they got a reason to win,” Rittmiller said. “If we win Thursday everyone goes away with a big smile.”

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