GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - The 4A Western Slope League girls soccer standings just got a little messy at the top of its two divisions.
Playing on their home field at Stubler Memorial Field against Steamboat Springs, the Glenwood Springs girls had an opportunity to secure their hold on first place in the Class 4A Western Slope League West Division with only three regular-season games remaining.
Instead, it was Steamboat that took advantage of its limited scoring opportunities to record a 3-1 road win against the Demons.
Steamboat Springs coach Rob Bohlmann knew his team needed to try something different Thursday evening as his team has struggled with consistency throughout most of April.
"We always seem to struggle when we play at Glenwood," Bohlmann said. "We tweaked our game style this week and worked hard at going with quick counters to keep Glenwood off balance. I'm real happy with how our girls responded tonight."
Playing at home, the Demons outshot Steamboat 12-8 and controlled the midfield play throughout most of the contest. What they didn't take care of was the scoreboard.
"We didn't stick with our game plan," Glenwood coach Steve White said. "In this cold weather we talked about keeping the ball on the ground, but didn't follow through. Give Steamboat credit for taking advantage of their opportunities."
Glenwood senior Lilly McSwain, who leads the Demons with 14 goals and three assists, fought to control her emotions after the loss.
"We just didn't have the right attitude tonight," McSwain said. "We were cocky before the game, and didn't play to the level we should have. It's real disappointing."
The Demons took the first five shots on goal and dominated possession for most of the first half, but it was Steamboat freshman Jordan Floyd who found the back of the net at the 20:17 mark. Floyd took a cross on the left side of goal and beat Glenwood keeper Rachel Rosenberg with a shot that just went inside the right goal post for a 1-0 Sailors lead.
The first half ended on a somber note after Rosenberg had to leave the game with three minutes to play in the half after getting struck on the head in a collision with Steamboat forward Sara Stout. Both players were going for a loose ball when it appeared Rosenberg was struck in the head by Stout's knee.
Sophomore Bella Diaz took over in goal and finished the rest of the game in the net.
Neither team could muster a clean scoring opportunity early in the second half until Steamboat freshman Natalie Bohlmann took control of a loose ball about 20 yards in front of the Glenwood goal with 27:00 to play. Bohlmann cut right and dropped a soft roller to the left that was just out of reach of Diaz for a 2-0 Steamboat lead.
The Demons made it 2-1 when McSwain took a direct free kick from 25 yards out and sent a laser shot to the left side of goal that the Steamboat keeper had no chance to stop.
The game's intensity kicked up a notch, as Glenwood had several more close shots. With less than 10 minutes to play, Floyd was knocked down in the Glenwood goal box and was awarded a penalty kick. The Steamboat frosh pushed the free kick into the goal for a 3-1 lead that would hold up the rest of the game.
"I just wanted to work hard tonight and do my best," Floyd said. "It's fun to score two goals, especially against a really good team like Glenwood."
The loss leaves Glenwood at 6-2-0 in league play with three league games remaining. Steamboat plays in the 4A WSL Eastern Division and now sits in second place at 5-1-2 in league play, trailing first-place Battle Mountain (7-1-2).
With several scenarios still possible in the next two weeks, both Glenwood and Steamboat still have a chance to win or tie for first place in their respective divisions. Steamboat plays again at 2 p.m. today at Rifle. Glenwood travels to Conifer for a 1 p.m. game on Saturday.