By ELWOOD K.SHELTON
Daily Press writer
With the Steamboat Springs Sailors ahead 2-0 in Thursday's high school soccer game, the shot junior Bulldog Brad Hurd scored in the middle of the first half looked to make the game right on course with every other the 'Dogs' have played close.
But then the Sailors unleashed an offensive attack, which spread out the Bulldogs' man-to-man defense and sniped in five unanswered goal to win their first conference game of the season.
"Steamboat brought a big offensive attack on us," Bulldogs Coach Tom St. Louis said. "They'd move their forwards back, and take our defenders back with them, which really opened some big gaps in front of the goal."
The Sailors took advantage of the gaps and won the game 8-1. The match, held at the Loudy-Simpson Park in Craig, was the first conference game for both Steamboat Springs and Moffat County high schools, and improves the Sailors record to 3-2.
It also continues the Bulldogs' early-season losing trend, and makes their record 0-4 on the year.
Early on, the game was fairly balanced. The Bulldogs' recovered off a Mike Rinn goal, which came in the first five minutes.
The Bulldogs' man-to-man defense tightened up, and repelled multiple attacks on goal, with Sailors camping out with the ball in Moffat County territory. Junior goalkeeper, Brandon Duarte, blocked 11 shots in the game. His effort was accented by tight defensive play by juniors Daniel Carr and Mike Cammer.
Steamboat Springs spread out its offense, putting emphasis on ball control, which caught the Bulldogs' goal open several times, and allowed for more shots than Duarte could block.
"Moffat County seems to improve every time we meet them," said John Cardillo, assistant soccer coach for Steamboat Springs. "But, our team was especially hungry after losing to Centarus last Saturday and because it was a league game. The team is ready to get into some games that count on the record."
Moffat County did mount attacks on Steamboat's side of the field, but other than Hurd's goal in the first, all the team got off were shots. Junior Eric Havrilla led the way for Moffat County with three shots, while four other Bulldogs got away with one shot apiece.
"I see some areas the team's got to improve on, but I am happy to see the amount of shots the team is taking, and by players who usually don't take shots," St. Louis said.
Both teams will continue WSC play on Saturday, but only one will continue searching for its first win.
The victors of Thursday's game, Steamboat Springs, will hit the road for a match-up against the Rifle Bears, which Cardillo described as a team of quick athletes. The Bears come into the game with a record of 2-3, and three goals to their credit.
"This game's over and we're onto our next challenge, and Rifle should be a big test," Cardillo said.
The Bulldogs will play host to the Glenwood Springs Demons, who are 4-1 for the year, and have scored 10 goals.
"The guys are disappointed to lose by this much, but we're not going to dwell on it," St. Louis said. "This game's behind us. We've got to get ready for Glenwood this weekend."