Earlier this season the Tigers topped Battle Mountain 2-1 in Edwards, ending the Huskies’ 27-game win streak.
But Tuesday the Huskies’ fast-paced offense proved too much, as the team was able capitalize on more scoring opportunities and a greater time of possession.
“There’s a reason why they are the state champions,” head coach Tommy Gogolen said after the game. “They played like it tonight.”
Summit came out strong in a back-and-forth first half affair. Each team had shots on goal early that they were unable to punch in.
As the half progressed, Battle Mountain’s crisp-passing offense started to keep the ball in Summit’s half of the field.
“They move the ball around so well,” Gogolen said. “They were just too much for us tonight.”
After a strong Summit offensive, Battle mountain countered quickly. The Huskies’ Alexis Robles slipped the ball past Tiger goalie Noah Glasco to score first with 33:16 left in the first half.
At the midway point in the first half Summit came back strong. A loud Tiger crowd got behind their home team with almost every offensive possession. Summit had a few solid shots on goal, including two direct free kicks that they were unable to capitalize on.
Glasco stepped up his efforts and blocked a number of big Battle Mountain shots throughout the game.
With 9:26 left in the half Summit scored the equalizer. Able to fend off a strong counter-attack and a Husky shot on goal that sailed just left in the final 30 seconds, the game went to half-time knotted at a goal a piece.
Glasco came up with another big save early in the second half, but Battle Mountain began to impose their will on the Tigers. With 26:34 left in the second, Battle Mountain’s Roberto Diaz was able to capitalize on a nice set-up play and score the go-ahead goal off of a header.
Summit continued to squeeze in a few shots on goal but failed to capitalize.
A Husky free kick by Brandon Osorio essentially iced the game with 14:25 left. Osorio squeezed the ball under the defense’s wall and past the keeper off a deflection.
After the game Glasco said he was disappointed, but mentioned that the team played hard.
“I think we’ll bounce back well and finish the season well,” he said.
He went on to cite communication problems, costly fouls and trouble marking players as reasons for the loss. Two of Battle Mountain’s goals came off opportunities set up by free kicks.
The win muddles league standings somewhat, the Tigers fall to 6-1-1 in league play and the Huskies move to 9-1. Summit has to win out and hope Eagle Valley, who the Tigers played to a tie, can beat the Huskies in order for Summit to take the league crown.
The Tigers continue the season with home games Thursday against Glenwood and Tuesday against Rifle. They’ll travel to Steamboat Springs to close out the regular season Oct. 17.