Battle Mountain overpowers Summit boys soccer team in homecoming match

Elaine Collins/Courtesy photo
Santi Casco floats up for a header during Summit's homecoming game against Battle Mountain High School on Tuesday, Sept. 19 in Breckenridge. Summit fell to Battle Mountain, 5-3.
Elaine Collins/Courtesy photo

The Summit High School boys soccer team may have started the season with four straight losses, but the team quickly took action, built chemistry and valiantly fought its way to three straight wins in a span of a week.

With Summit’s recent string of victories, the team powered its way into homecoming week to welcome Battle Mountain High School to its home turf on Tuesday, Sept. 19. The Tigers entered the match not only looking to extend their win streak to four games, but also hoped to enact revenge on the Huskies after being shutout, 5-0, while playing in Edwards earlier this season.

Summit fared slightly better against Battle Mountain, but the Tigers were ultimately unable to rise up to the level of their 4A Western Slope foes and lost 5-3.

Summit began the first half on a shaky ground. Several times within the first few minutes of the game, the Tigers struggled to possess the ball longer than a few seconds before the Huskies’ defense swiftly kicked the ball away.

The Summit turnovers resulted in offensive opportunities for Battle Mountain. Eight minutes into the game, a Huskies forward cut through the Summit defense and sent a ball straight into the back of the net.

The goal momentarily electrified the Summit offense, but the team continued to struggle to bring the ball over midfield.

Nearly 10 minutes after Battle Mountain scored the first goal of the match, sophomore Jakob Methvin criss-crossed his way through a group of four Summit defenders and shot a second ball past senior goalie Diego Olivera.

Wanting to score another goal, Methvin continued to chase after loose balls, but the Summit defense kept Battle Mountain momentarily at bay.

The defensive stand by the Tigers energized the offense, and soon senior Santi Casio found himself in front of the net. With Battle Mountain junior goalie Ezequiel Alvarez out of position, Casco fired a ball toward the goal, but it was blocked by a defenseman. Casco then fought his way back to the ball, but he was once again stopped short of the net before the ball was repossessed by Battle Mountain.

Following the sequence of shots from Casco, the Huskies then bombarded the Summit defense, which resulted in two scored goals in the span of a minute. With 15 minutes remaining in the first half, Battle Mountain led 4-0, leaving Summit reeling for an answer.

Summit had several productive possessions by the end the first half, but the team failed to record a shot on net. Battle Mountain led 4-0 at halftime.

Elaine Collins/Courtesy photo
Juan Varon looks down the field during Summit’s homecoming game against Battle Mountain High School on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
Elaine Collins/Courtesy photo

Summit came out of halftime on the attack and ready to chase after the four-goal deficit. 

About four minutes into the new half, Casco sent a pass across the field to junior Griffin Gamboa, who positioned a shot just to the right of Alvarez and brought the score to 4-1.

The Summit goal sent the players into a frenzy, and soon the team produced several other offensive opportunities in front of the net. Battle Mountain managed to weather the storm of invigorated offense by Summit and soon flipped the field to send shots of its own towards Olivera. 

After failing to score a fifth goal, Battle Mountain distributed the ball across the field and started to drain the clock. Eventually, Summit was able to regain possession of the ball and even got the opportunity for a free kick from about 25 yards away from the net.

In hopes of bringing the game within two goals, Casco shot a fiery free kick toward the net, but the ball drifted just over the net and kept the score at 4-1.

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With under 20 minutes remaining in the game, the Huskies attempted to seal the game for good, but strong defense from junior Reece Bosgraaf, senior Jared Marcer and Olivera gave Summit hopes of another goal. 

The Tigers persistence eventually paid off as junior Mamadou Ba chased after a long pass and sent the ball into the back of the net.

However, minutes after the Ba goal brought the score to 4-2, Battle Mountain senior Jack Ruiz solidified the Huskies win with a powerful shot from about 30 yards away. With several players obscuring Olivera’s view, the shot whizzed by to give Battle Mountain a definitive, 5-2 lead.

Despite trailing by three goals, the Tigers refused to go down without a fight in its homecoming match as senior Erik Barahona sank a free kick to once again bring the game within two goals.

The Tigers rode the wave of momentum for several minutes and got another offensive opportunity when senior Mark Marvel was taken out by the Alvarez just outside the goalie box. With another free-kick opportunity, junior Juan Varon rocketed the ball toward the net, but it traveled just high, concluding the game.  

Battle Mountain snapped Summit’s winning streak, beating the Tigers, 5-3. Summit is now 3-5 on the season and 2-4 in league play.

“In the first half, we were all playing scared,” Reece Bosgraaf said. “We all knew what team we were coming into, but in the second half we were like, ‘This is our house. This isn’t how we get treated in our own stadium and environment.’ We all decided we didn’t want to lose without a goal like last time. We decided that the last 40 minutes would be nothing but full effort.”

Although the Tigers failed to win their homecoming match, the team was encouraged by its effort in the second half, winning the half 3-1. 

“We will mainly be taking forward the effort and the ability to know that we can come back against a team like this,” Bosgraaf said. “We will give all our effort Wednesday, Thursday, Friday in practice, prepare for Atlas Prep, hopefully put up a good fight and just score goals.”

Summit will look to rebound against Colorado Spring’s Atlas Preparatory School on Saturday, Sept. 23. Atlas Preparatory School is currently 0-4-1 on the season and will face Battle Mountain on Friday before taking on Summit on Saturday.

The game is slated for 11 a.m. on Saturday.

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