Summit girls soccer loses first rivalry match 2-4 — but gains confidence | SummitDaily.com

Summit girls soccer loses first rivalry match 2-4 — but gains confidence

FRISCO — Now that's the way to start a season.

At first glance, Summit's loss to rivals Battle Mountain on the home soccer pitch yesterday seems like no reason to celebrate. Both girls teams came out flat, with plenty of leftover rust from the long off-season, and the Huskies were first to strike with two goals in the first half. It looked like a repeat of last season's March matchup, with Battle Mountain running all over Summit for a 4-nil win.

But, for the first time in years — head coach Tommy Gogolen believes it's been at least two or three, maybe four — the Tigers scored not once, but twice against one of the best teams in the 4A Western Slope, ending the game 4-2.

"We've been preaching intensity this season, and Battle Mountain is a top-5 team in the state," Gogolen said after the game. "They brought intensity, and they brought heart, and 4-2 is a great result for us."

The real kicker? This is a young Summit team, with just three seniors total. About half of Gogolen's starting line is sophomores — young Shannon Hogeman had the first Tigers goal of the match — compared to a veteran Huskies team with 10 juniors and five seniors, like superstar midfielder Emily Cope. She and sophomore Avery Weaver combined for the first two goals of the game, scored nearly back to back late in the first half.

It's a wonder the score wasn't more lopsided about 15 minutes in. The Tigers were very, very slow at the start, with messy passing and poor first touches. They seemed to find their stride right when the Huskies started scoring with minutes left before the buzzer — almost too little, too late, even with another 40 minutes to play.

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But Gogolen had faith.

"It was slow at first, but we held Battle scoreless for more than 30 minutes," Gogolen said. "What we have to work on is possession, but today was a good start. It's tough to do that with this team."

The Tigers found their stride less than a minute into the second half, as Hogeman paired with Tanner McCann for a crisp breakaway. This noticeably shifted the momentum, and, suddenly, we had a soccer game, Tigers 1, Huskies 2.

Battle Mountain responded about five minutes later with a goal from junior defender Dylan Barker. It's part of the team's attack plan: fast forwards and fast defenders who have no problem switching lines on a whim, almost like an NHL hockey team. Everyone plays everything (goalkeepers excepted), and so it's no wonder Battle Mountain dominates more rigid teams.

But the Tigers responded well the Huskies attack — although it didn't translate to goals for the middle 20 minutes of the second half. Both teams went back and forth, with Battle Mountain slowly gaining momentum until bruiser forward Tanner McCann finally found the net on her fourth shot of the game. It was a beauty, a left-foot hook from a right-foot dominant player.

That was the end of the scoring for Summit, but never mind that. Gogolen was more than happy to begin the season with a strong showing against a historically strong team. Now, it's just a matter of finding their game long before their backs are against a wall.

"I think these girls are going to walk away today with a little belief they have something going on," Gogolen said after a rousing post-game talk with his understandably fired-up team. "It was just a great game for these girls."

Summit vs. Battle Mountain

Score 1st 2nd Final

Summit 0 2 2

BMHS 2 2 4

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