Steamboat knocks off Eagle Valley soccer, 2-0
Special to the Daily
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs High School boys soccer team logged Tuesday night’s game against Eagle Valley under “taking care of business.”
Eagle Valley filed it as “one that got away.”
Both teams found something to take away from the end result, a 2-0 win for the Sailors, and the game, if anything, proved that there are no easy nights in this fall’s Western Slope boys soccer league.
Steamboat scored once in the first, a Jack Salyer strike setup from Charlie Beurskens and smashed from 25 yards, and once in the second, a Nathan DePuy drive in front of the goal.
And, the Sailors seemed to have other chances, especially in the first half, when it controlled more of the tempo. Eagle Valley’s attempts were limited early, and by halftime, Steamboat walked away a little miffed it hadn’t gotten the insurance goal it wanted.
That was more irritation than headache for the Sailors, who came out at the end of the night pleased.
“The positive is at mid-season we’re really finding our stride,” Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. “We were able to keep a clean slate, to score a couple of goals and we felt like we had a descent amount of possession and some good creativity. It was a pretty good performance.”
The Devils pushed the pace more in the second half, and soon it appeared a second Steamboat goal would be required, not just desired, for the Sailors to win.
Eagle Valley moved the ball with smooth dribbling and a couple great crosses from junior captain Aldo Palacios.
It never quite came together, however.
“We made two mistakes. We touched the ball well. We created more chances. Steamboat capitalized on two mistakes on our defense and that’s tough,” Eagle Valley coach Bratzo Horruitiner said. “Props to Steamboat because they created opportunities and put it away. We couldn’t put it away in our chances.”
Steamboat kept the Devils out of the net in large part by staying in front of them.
It looked harder than it sounds.
The Sailor defenders kept their positions well enough, and nervous Devils couldn’t score on advantages they did gain. Plenty of Eagle Valley shots flew wide, and those that didn’t were cleaned up by Steamboat goalie Jake Anderson.
“We had to stay in front and play team defense,” Beurskens said. “A lot of their shots were from 30 or so yards out, and we’re fine with that. We have a great keeper in Jake and he can save anything from out there.”
On paper, the result, seeming convincing enough, adds separation to a league race, splitting Steamboat (4-1-1 in the league) into the top half with Summit and Battle Mountain (5-2), while cementing Eagle Valley (2-2-1) into the middle.
On the field, however, that split didn’t seem so decisive, and that’s what the Sailors hope to keep in mind Saturday as they play at home again, this time against Glenwood Springs, a bottom-half team this season with a 2-4 league mark.
“This is one of the most competitive leagues we’ve seen in awhile, so a team like Eagle Valley has a very good opportunity to knock someone off who’s in the top right now, be it us, Battle Mountain or Summit,” Bohlmann said. “Glenwood is the same way, so we have to continue to take things one game at a time.”
Eagle Valley, meanwhile, hopes to come through as it takes another crack at scrambling the standings, playing at home Thursday against Summit.
“We played the best soccer we’ve played this season,” Horruitiner said. “In my opinion, we were the best team on the field, but that means absolutely nothing. Now the tough part is the mental part. We have to regroup and play Summit.”
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