Vail Valley preps: Steamboat downs Battle Mountain- |

Vail Valley preps: Steamboat downs Battle Mountain-

Luke Graham
Vail, CO Colorado
Steamboat Springs Sailor Katie Hostetler and Battle Mountain Husky Haille Hogfeldt battle for a ball in front of the Huskies goal after a first half corner kick.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – All of sudden the Steamboat Springs girls soccer team saw its chances turn into reality.-

And in the process – in a series with Battle Mountain where there always seems to be something at stake – Steamboat finally turned a myriad of chances into two late goals, sneaking away with a 2-1 win Tuesday at Gardner Field.-

The Sailors (9-2-1 overall, 7-2 in the Western Slope League) controlled possession for much of the game, outside of a few prolonged rushes by the Huskies.-

But Steamboat had nothing to show for it in the first half, leaving the first 40 minutes scoreless.-

Finally in the 60th minute, Steamboat’s prolonged attack finally paid dividends. Sydney Bauknecht collected the ball just outside the box, dragged it to her strong left side and rifled a high shot just over the outstretched arms of Battle Mountain keeper Mindy Vickers for a 1-0 lead.-

Five minutes later, on a counterattack, Bauknecht and freshman Tatum Sear had a 2-on-1. Bauknecht drew the defender and lofted a perfect pass to Sear, who finessed one in for the eventual game-winner.

“I think the difference in the game was from minute 41 to minute 66,” Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. “That 25 minutes in the second half, we came out and started sharp. We played possessional soccer and didn’t force it. When we lost the ball we didn’t relinquish pressure. You felt it was coming. They did a nice job not getting anxious or frustrated.”

But a youthful Battle Mountain team had its own moments and chances in another closely contested battle.-

On a counterattack in the 53rd, the Huskies moved the ball up the right side. The ball was crossed into the box where Rosie Davies pounded one on net. But Steamboat keeper Hannah Barkey made a sprawling save to keep the game scoreless.-

Then in the 55th, on another Huskies corner kick, Emma Porter lasered a one-time shot that glanced off the right post.

“You have to take some of those sustained periods of pressure and get a goal,” Huskies coach Dave Cope said. “We didn’t and felt like we were a little unlucky hitting the post. But Steamboat deserved to win the game. They scored one great goal and one opportunistic goal.”

The Huskies made it interesting in the 69th when Pearl Nanin took a long pass up the left side, took her time and snuck a shot under the crossbar to get the Huskies at 2-1.

Battle Mountain’s last chance came in extra time, when a long-distance shot sent Barkey back, but the junior corralled the ball in just before her body went across the goal line.-

The loss ends Battle Mountain’s (5-8-1, 4-6-1) chances at a playoff spot. Steamboat is still in control of the second spot in the league.-

Battle Mountain wraps the season with Senior Night on Friday at 6 p.m.