Bears thump Sailors, 7-0
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – The Rifle soccer team had been waiting for the complete game. The game when the strikers, midfielders and defenders play well and together for 80 minutes. Saturday, Rifle was nearly perfect in a dominating, 7-0 win against Steamboat Springs.”We are finding our identity,” Bears coach Tom Taucher said. “They’ve been slowly putting this together…we’ve had that goal of a shutout.”The Sailors mustered just two legitimate shots on goal, both of which Bears goalie Derek Roberts, a senior, was in position to catch. Rifle, meanwhile, likely could have scored more if not for several great saves from sophomore goalie Bjorn Lickteig and senior goalie Jordan Gray and several good defensive recoveries and clearing shots.The Bears got things started one minute into the first half on a perfectly executed corner kick. Senior Kyle McElroy kicked the ball into the box and senior Adam Krick headed the ball past Lickteig.Rifle added its second goal less than eight minutes later when senior Sean Melody beat everyone down the field on a hard run toward the box. Neither team scored until the 30-minute mark when junior Stuart Stapleton knocked a penalty kick high and right past Lickteig.With less than three minutes left in the half, the Sailors’ first hopes of a goal came off a corner but no one got off a clean shot before the Bears’ defense cleared the ball.Six minutes into the second half, Rifle picked up where it left off in the first half when junior Brett Chesley, amidst a scramble for the ball, took control and knocked one low past Lickteig.Steamboat’s first shot on goal came two minutes later when senior Alec Nelson found senior Tyler Andrew near the top of the box, but Roberts caught Andrew’s shot. Senior Danny Carlson took the Sailors’ second shot on a direct kick, which Roberts swallowed up as well.Midway through the second half, senior Alex VanEnglenburg added Rifle’s fifth goal.Seven different players scored the Bears’ seven goals. Seniors Bryan Cloninger and Justin Berry added the final two Rifle goals.”We like to attack from anywhere,” Taucher said.• In Thursday’s game against Palisade, Rifle downed the Bulldogs 2-1.
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