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Summit soccer faces No. 2 seed in playoffs’ first round

Summit Daily/Mark Fox

They aspired to the playoffs, and they made it.

But, they were handed a No. 31 seed.

That’s out of 32 teams.

Summit High’s boys’ soccer team enters a deja-vu bout with No. 2-seeded Broomfield High in Broomfield this evening at 6 in Broomfield.

It’s a repeat of last year, when the No. 32-ranked Summit faced off with No. 1-ranked Broomfield. They lost then, but this year, Summit’s looking for the upset.

That is, after the initial shock dissipated.

Twenty-four teams automatically qualify for Colorado 4A state playoffs, with another eight at-large slots for wild cards selected by in-league performance and seeding committee decisions. Summit head coach Tommy Gogolen initially hoped to be in the 18-24 seed range.

“It’s at the mercy of the seeding committee,” he said, adding, “I see our league (4A Western Slope) is not as strong as Denver or Colorado Springs leagues. In doing my own research, I see where their justification comes from.”

Teams that have high loss counts, but have a higher seed, comes from their schedules.

“Their losses have come from the top teams in the state all season,” Gogolen said.

It may be a shock, but so far, the team is shaking off the shock and getting down to business.

“The boys are by no means hanging their heads,” the coach said.

Instead, they’re focusing on the game plan: pressure.

“They’re a big-time possession team,” Gogolen said, adding, “We don’t mind if they want to possess. It’s when they penetrate our defense. It’s when they get into the final third … that we want to avoid.”

Summit won against tougher opponents through patience, a strong defense, a quick counter attack – and shutting down other teams’ offensive tools, like Battle Mountain’s Joe LyBarger.

“We’re a patient bunch,” Gogolen said. “Possession doesn’t score goals. Goals score goals.”

Tonight’s game will be a challenge, but it’s not one the team is backing down from.

“They have a bit of a chip on their shoulder, to prove the seeding committee wrong,” Gogolen said.