Freshman-to-freshman connection leads Summit soccer to upset Glenwood
BREKENRIDGE — A freshman-to-freshman connection propelled the Summit High School varsity boys soccer team to its first win in four years over a top-10 team in the state.
Thursday evening at Tiger Stadium in Breckenridge, Summit (4-4) defeated No. 9 Glenwood Springs (7-1-2) 1-0, battling through the final few helter-skelter minutes to pick up the program’s biggest win in years.
Summit found the go-ahead goal in the 26th minute, when freshman Owen Gallo took possession in the midfield, pivoted and sent a through-ball to fellow freshman Fabien Cuevas streaking through Glenwood Springs’ center backs. The goal enabled the Tigers to tuck into a more defensive formation for the final 50-plus minutes of the game, as senior leader and goalkeeper Chris Orozco fended off one Glenwood shot after another to seal the win.
“It felt good,” the young Cuevas said after the game.
Did he expect to make that kind of a play against a top-10 team in the state? The soft-spoken freshman paused for a moment before senior captain and center back Aaron Gallo answered for him.
“I’ve personally seen him do it a couple of times,” Aaron Gallo, Owen’s older brother, said with a smile through a bloody nose.
The elder Gallo received that bloody nose (he didn’t think it was broken) after saving a Glenwood Springs shot with his face. Aaron Gallo’s effort was one of seemingly endless Summit stops in the frenetic final moments, as the center back, his goalkeeper Orozco and the rest of the Tigers D held on for dear life.
Aug. 26: vs. Delta, L 1-0
Sept. 12: at Salida, L, 2-1
Sept. 17: vs. Battle Mountain, L, 5-0
Sept. 21: at Palisade, W, 5-4
Sept. 26: at Steamboat Springs, W, 3-2
Sept. 28: at Colorado Springs Christian Academy, 11 a.m.
Oct. 1: at Eagle Valley, L, 3-2, OT
Oct. 3: vs. Glenwood Springs, W, 1-0
Oct. 8: at Battle Mountain, L, 4-0
Oct. 12: vs. Palisade, L, 4-2
Oct. 15: at Glenwood Springs, T, 1-1, 2OT
Oct. 17: vs. Eagle Valley, W, 4-1
Oct. 22: vs. Steamboat Springs, L, 5-4, 2OT
Oct. 23: vs. Rifle, L, 2-0
Oct. 26: at Rifle, L, 4-1
Reflecting on the game, Gogolen was ecstatic with his team’s effort and resiliency, especially after they lost their previous game on Tuesday on the road at Eagle Valley 3-2 in overtime. In that contest, the Tigers lost on a penalty kick after leading 2-0 early.
“We had the win at our fingertips, it was heartbreaking,” Goglen said. “So tonight was a display of heart and effort. It wasn’t our best soccer, we had a good gameplan, a good scouting report and I couldn’t be more proud, because we lit it up with effort and heart.”
Early, Aaron Gallo said that Tiger gameplan versus the Demons came down to being defensive-minded against Glenwood’s offensive counter, making sure everyone is marked. Leading his team from the center back position, switching the field and keeping the Tigers’s composure, the elder Gallo played a lead role in putting Summit in a position for the upset.
Once Cuevas scored in the 26th minute, Gogolen pivoted to a more defensive strategy predicated on subbing in numerous players, particularly out wide. The consistent substitutions kept the Tigers fresh, Gogolen encouraging them to “work” and “stay simple” through the final half of the game.
In the end, Summit held on defensively, and gained real confidence heading into another tough test next Tuesday night, at No. 2 Battle Mountain (8-0-1).
“I’ve been preaching to the boys that they are a good side,” Gogolen said. “And I think tonight they believed it. And it showed.”
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