The Summit High School boys soccer team will close its regular season tonight in Steamboat Springs, in a game with serious playoff implications.
“If we win this game against Steamboat we’re pretty much a shoe-in for the playoffs,” head coach Tommy Gogolen said. “If we lose, we’d be at the mercy of the seeding committee.”
Goglen said he told his team that the game is a “must win” to ensure its playoff hopes and a higher seed.
Four teams from the Western Slope and Southwestern leagues receive automatic bids. There are eight additional playoff slots decided by a seeding committee. With a win Thursday Summit would likely claim one of the guaranteed slots. Last year there was some controversy as Summit was matched against No. 2 seed Broomfield. The Tigers lost the game in overtime.
This year Summit could still win the Western Slope league title if Battle Mountain loses its final game against Eagle Valley tonight.
“We’re definitely going to be rooting for Eagle Valley,” Gogolen said.
Steamboat needs the win tonight to have a shot at the playoffs.
“Their only hope of making the playoffs is beating us,” Goglen said. “It’s going to be an absolute battle.”
Earlier in the season, the Tigers beat Steamboat 2-1 in double overtime at Tiger Stadium. Summit is currently 9-1-1 in league play.
Regardless of outcome, Gogolen is pleased with his young team’s efforts, showcased by ending Battle Mountain’s 27-game winning streak earlier in the season.
“It’s been a great season thus far,” he said. “We had a tough schedule; we’ll be ready for Thursday.”
— Sebastian Foltz