Bears soccer can wrap up title with win |

Bears soccer can wrap up title with win

It seems Steamboat Springs is always the preseason favorite to win the Class 4A Western Slope boys soccer league title. More often than not in recent years, the Sailors prove the pundits correct by winning at least a share of the league title.

With a victory tonight, however, the Rifle Bears can prove the preseason predictions wrong.

Rifle sits atop the WSL league standings with a 10-1 record and one game to play. The Bears face Delta today at 4 p.m. on the road in the season finale, and a victory would seal the league title and a No. 1 playoff seed.

Delta, on the other hand, is playing to keep its playoff hopes alive.

The Panthers are in fourth place in the WSL at 5-5, trailing Battle Mountain (6-4) for the final playoff spot. A Delta loss will clinch the No. 3 spot for Battle Mountain, while a Delta win will put the heat on the Huskies.

Rifle downed the Panthers in the only other meeting of the two teams this season. Dylan Menu and Stuart Stapleton scored as the Bears shut out Delta 2-0 in Rifle.

Expect a similar score today.

The Bears have allowed more than one goal only three times in league games this season, and also have five shutouts.

If Rifle avoids an upset, the WSL playoff picture will be set with the Bears at No. 1, Steamboat (8-2) at No. 2, and Battle Mountain in the third and final spot.

A Rifle loss will open the door for the Sailors. Steamboat will need to win its final two games (tonight against Battle Mountain and Saturday versus winless Palisade) to claim the No. 1 seed through a tiebreaker scenario.

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