Summit seniors shine in win over Rifle, 7-1 | SummitDaily.com

Summit seniors shine in win over Rifle, 7-1

Editor's note: For more photos from Senior Night, including action images of just about every senior, see the sports section at http://www.summitdaily.com.

The Summit seniors gave a new meaning to Senior Night on Thursday, outscoring Rifle 7-1 in the final game of the season with powerhouse performances from just about every senior on the varsity soccer squad: two goals from forward Gerson Martinez, two from midfielder Carlos Martinez, one from forward Salvador Zambrano, one from forward Alfonso Zuno and one from defender Ty Michalowski.

The scoring barrage started right after kickoff in the first minute, when junior Jackson Stone fed a beauty of a corner kick to Carlos Martinez for a gorgeous header to go up, 1-0. Gerson Martinez followed it right after in the second minute with a streaking breakaway to extend the lead, 2-0, before the scoring attack slowed to a crawl.

For the next 38 minutes, Summit had a few good chances — they outshot the Bears 10 to nil in the first half — but the forwards and mids just couldn't find the net. Part of it was the stoic Bears back line: the Tigers drew four offside penalties in the first, including three from Gerson Martinez.

At halftime, head coach Tommy Gogolen honored his 11 seniors in front of the large and loud home crowd, who rattled "We (heart) our seniors!" signs and cheered for a side that came oh-so-close to a postseason berth. Along with the seniors who scored, coach also bid farewell to goalkeeper Carlos Velasquez, Cole Buller, Mauricio Lozano, Cole Catron, Alan Castillo and Isaias Cortez.

"We had a special moment in the last five minutes there," Gogolen told the crowd, "When all 11 of our seniors were on the field at the same time."

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Gogolen's boys were joined by their parents for photos and flowers at midfield, and all thoughts of what could have been — What if Summit had knocked off No. 3 Eagle Valley and No. 2 Steamboat Springs in the final week of the regular season? — disappeared. The team finished at 9-6 overall and 7-5 in the 4A Western Slope.

"Great way to end the season," Gogolen said after the game. "Going nine and six is most definitely a successful season."

The Tigers found their feet again in the second half. Velasquez, who started in the net for Kyle Wertz when the junior keeper went into the field, allowed just one goal on the night. That gave his fellow seniors plenty of time to pressure the opposing goal, with Zuno, Michalowski and the Martinez boys (no relation) scoring in the final 40 minutes.

4A Slope title showdown

In Edwards, the 4A Slope championship came down to Summit's two biggest nemeses: Steamboat Springs and Battle Mountain. After a stalemate in the first half, the Huskies rumbled into action with four goals in the second, while their defense held strong against the Sailors attack to win the 2016 soccer title, 4-0.

Battle Mountain finished the season 13-2 overall and 11-1 in the league (they lost once to Eagle Valley in overtime on Aug. 30) and Steamboat ended at 11-4 overall and 9-3 in the league, including a 2-4 loss to Summit on Sept. 22.

Both teams now head to the first round of the 4A state championship on Oct. 26.

Summit vs. Rifle — Oct. 20

1st 2nd Final

Summit 2 5 7

Rifle 0 1 1

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