At 4-0 in the Western Slope 4A league, the Summit High School boys' soccer team has its work cut out for it on Tuesday when they face off against the also undefeated Battle Mountain Huskies (5-0 in the 4A Slope, 7-0 overall).
Summit High is 5-2 overall this season after losing to Valor Christian on Thursday night.
"Valor just came out and played better. They dominated from the first whistle," head coach Tommy Gogolen said. "They got three goals in the first half and never really looked back. The guys played a little bit better the second half, but still not up to par. Valor was definitely the better team. We'll be pushing forward, working toward some new things. We'll be all right."
Gogolen knew it would be a tough game.
"They knew we were 5-1. We had a target on our back and they had a mission - and they accomplished," he said.
They were louder. They were more physical. They played more quickly and efficiently.
Though the shots were even at 16-16, Valor Christian dominated the first half, scoring three goals by the break. Summit High came back onto the pitch with newfound momentum, but couldn't put the ball in the back of the net. The Valor squad controlled the pace of the game.
"Even though we lost ... it was good to see the boys never give up," Gogolen said, adding that senior forward Evan Feldman had six shots on goal.
"He hustled and played his heart out," Gogolen said. He added kudos to senior sweeper Connor Hebert on the defense, who helped control play when the ball came into the Tiger third of the field.
With Battle Mountain on Tuesday, the SHS squad has two of its toughest games all season back-to-back.
"It was a good wake-up call. Our boys walked off the field feeling a little humbled," Gogolen said. "They know they need to prep a little better."
Which is what they did at practice Friday. And which they'll need to do if reputation is anything.
Battle Mountain is eyeing the Tigers with trepidation after its 7-0 win against Eagle Valley Thursday. Summit beat the Eagle Valley Devils 4-1 on Sept. 18. Despite the score difference, Summit and Battle Mountain coaches are saying the other team is worthy of respect when they go head-to-head in Edwards Tuesday.
"If you haven't seen (Summit) yet, Tuesday night is going to be a battle," Huskies coach David Cope told the Vail Daily. "This could be a special group that people might be talking about for a long time."
At 7-0, the 2012 Huskies are the second boys team in Cope's two decades to be undefeated at this point in the season, the Vail Daily reports. The 2005 Huskies made it to 14-0 before losing to Summit County, at the time a nonconference rival.
Summit, on the other hand, is looking reminiscent of the 2008 boys' soccer team - the one that became Jefferson County League champions - to those who have watched the program through the years.