Strong efforts by Summit High School’s Katy Harris and goalkeeper Lexi Vanderhoeven led to the Tigers girls soccer team getting its second win of the season, Saturday. The girls topped St. Mary’s Academy at home 3-2 in a back-and-forth game.
“It was just awesome. We went down 1-zero against a good team and our girls fought all the way back,” head coach Tommy Gogolen said.
Harris accounted for two of the team’s three goals and nearly scored a third off a breakaway shot attempt from near the 18 yard line that hit the crossbar.
“Our team played great today,” Harris said. “I think it was one of the best games we played this season.”
St. Mary’s came out strong early, scoring the opening goal in the game’s first 10 minutes.
But Summit battled back with Harris scoring the equalizer off a breakaway set up by senior Taylor Bohlender with 19 minutes left in the first half.
St. Mary’s went up again, scoring off a free kick with 3:20 to play in the half. The Wildcats’ Emma Selner scored off a beautifully arched right-to-left kick from about 30 yards out.
Not discouraged, the Tigers went into halftime down 2-1.
“That actually makes us fight a little harder,” Harris said of playing from behind. “We know we need to step it up.”
A strong offensive early in the second half almost led to the tying score, but the Wildcats’ keeper came up with a big save.
St. Mary’s had a chance to put the game away with a penalty shot on a counterattack, but Tigers keeper Lexi Vanderhoen came up with a one-on-one save.
One of Harris’ two hat-trick opportunities came midway through the second half, shortly after the penalty shot.
A foul by a St. Mary’s defender inside the 18 set up the game’s second equalizer off of Harris’ ensuing penalty shot.
The Tigers’ go-ahead goal came with 11:11 to play in the game. Summit’s Izzie Luna Torres scored off a well-placed corner kick by Harris.
St. Mary’s came on strong late in the game and nearly tied it on a one-on-one shot opportunity blocked by Vanderhoeven with seven minutes left to play.
Then in the game’s final seconds St. Mary’s had one more opportunity that banked off of the goal post.
“That was the best half of soccer I’ve seen them play,” Gogolen said after the game. “Best performance I’ve seen here in a long time out of our girls.”
Looking ahead at a tough schedule, Harris said, “I think it’s a good confidence booster for our whole team.”
The win brings the Tigers to 2-7 on the season. They’ll travel to Steamboat Springs on Tuesday and host Eagle Valley, Thursday, April 10.