Invigorated Summit Tigers shut out the Conifer Lobos, 3-0, in fourth win of season

Ella Snyder, right, drives towards the goal while dribbling the soccer ball in Summit’s home opener against Crested Butte on Saturday, March 19. Snyder recently scored a goal in the Tigers’ 3-0 win against the Conifer Lobos on Thursday, April 14.
Joel Wexler/For the Summit Daily News

Head coach Jotwan Daniels feels like his team has turned a corner since it took an overnight trip last weekend.

On the road, the Summit girls soccer team may have lost to Glenwood Springs, but the next morning, on tired legs, the team banded together to beat a competitive Palisade team, 1-0.

Since then, the team has been playing on an entirely different level.

“What we have been trying to do is turn these challenges into opportunities to improve,” Daniels said. “We had a really strong training session on Tuesday, we looked really good on Wednesday so I feel like we were primed and ready to go.”

The Tigers rode the energy from the tough training sessions and last week’s win into the team’s matchup against the Conifer Lobos on Thursday, April 14.

Upon exiting the bus in Evergreen, Summit was met with windy and cold conditions, but that was nothing out of the ordinary for the High Country natives. The team took the field with clear eyes, ready to win its second consecutive match.

Daniels said the team members had a quiet confidence about them before they took the field, which allowed the Tigers to start the game firing on all cylinders. They had some strong offensive possessions, right off the bat, while attacking Conifer’s defensive core.

It wasn’t long until the Tigers were able to score a goal. Senior Olyvia Snyder was able to rocket a ball past Conifer’s goalie to go up 1-0 just 10 minutes into the 80-minute match.

“She picked up where she left off after the weekend and has been a force for us in the attacking half of the field,” Daniels said of Snyder.

For the rest of the half, Conifer tightened up its defense and made it extremely hard for Summit to score another goal. Conifer’s goalie especially did her part in the team’s effort. She blocked some missile-like shots that were fired by the Tigers in order to keep the score at 1-0 heading into halftime.

“I explained to the girls that they were playing really good soccer but that this was one of those games where, if we don’t put it away early, we are giving them an opportunity to get back into the game,” Daniels said while recalling his halftime speech. “We are not doing that anymore. We are trying to control, compete and create as many chances as possible.”

Urged on by Daniel’s comments, the Tigers had a second half that deserved a win. The team scored two more goals while the Tigers’ defense kept the Lobos from scoring a single goal.

Katy Clapp kicks the ball away from a Crested Butte defender during the Tigers’ home opener on Saturday, March 19. Clapp recently scored in the Tigers 3-0 win against the Conifer Lobos on Thursday, April 14.
Joel Wexler/For the Summit Daily News

Summit’s second goal of the game came from the foot of senior captain Katy Clapp, who was able to chip a ball over the head of the other team’s goalie to put the Tigers up, 2-0.

Summit’s final goal came from Ella Snyder, who received a sharp pass from her sister, Olyvia, to put the game out of reach for Conifer. That goal allowed the younger players to get some playing time in the game.

Summit defeated Conifer, 3-0, for the team’s fourth shutout win of the season.

The Tigers had a strong game on the offensive side of the field, but the win was ultimately possible because of the performance of senior goalie Sarah Pappas and the Tigers’ defense.

“We have been taking pride in making it as difficult as possible for teams to break us down,” Daniels said. “I think Sarah is really starting to use her voice to move players around to prevent her from making a save, that way she only focuses on making saves that she is supposed to.”

The Tigers will now enter spring break with an overall record of 4-4 and a league record of 1-4.

Summit will have a rescheduled road game against Woodland Park on April 26.

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