New game plan, returning talent brings promise to Summit High School girls soccer ahead of spring season |

New game plan, returning talent brings promise to Summit High School girls soccer ahead of spring season

Summit High Tiger Kelley Duffy controls the ball during a match against the Eagle Valley Devils during Senior Day at Climax Molybdenum Field at Tiger Stadium on Thursday, May 20, 2021 in Breckenridge. The Tigers defeated the Devils in overtime 2-1.
Photo by Jason Connolly/For the Summit Daily News

The Summit High School girls soccer team head into the 2022 spring season looking to transform their program with head coach Jotwan Daniels at the forefront.

He is entering his third season as the head coach of the program, but this will be the first that will resemble anything close to a normal-looking season for him. Daniels, who also is the head coach of the boys soccer team, was hired as the head coach ahead of the 2020 season, which was ultimately canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

During the 2021 season, the team only played a 10-game season solely against 4A Western Slope League opponents — strict guidelines in tow. The team went 1-9 against conference opponents to finish fifth in the rankings.

This season, the team is looking forward to facing more teams and having more normalcy.

“We were really excited about the fact that we were able to do something like a preseason,” Daniels said. “Planning things like a team dinner night — we got none of that last year, although we did get an opportunity to play. (We are) really looking forward to some semblance of normalcy. It’s going to be a completely different ball game.”

The team will be made up of a large group of girls that have experience at the varsity level since last year’s team consisted of a strong class of sophomores and juniors.

“I actually have some returners with experience,” Daniels said. “I would say the bulk of my returners with experience are my juniors, but I’ve also got some pretty solid senior leaders.”

Summit High School's Olyvia Snyder, right, attempts to win possession against Battle Mountain during the 3-0 Huskies win at Tiger Stadium in Breckenridge on Saturday, June 5.
Joel Wexler/For the Summit Daily News

The Tigers will be led by senior goal keeper, Sarah Pappas as well as Elizabeth Darst, Kelley Duffy, Katy Clapp, Anna Garvert, Maggie Barggren and four-sport athlete Olyvia Snyder.

The biggest challenge the team faced last season was the pandemic, Daniels explained.

“A big reason why we weren’t able to get as many successes in terms of record and wins is that we just had a young team that had never played varsity soccer — ever,” Daniels said.

Last year, the team mostly lost by one or two goals, which to Daniels means they were at least being competitive in games, but this year he hopes that more experience will result in more tallies in the win column.

In terms of team goals, Daniels says the team wants to execute a new system of play.

“Although I have a lot of returners coming back, we are pretty much playing a completely different system that I think fits our strengths and minimizes our weaknesses,” Daniels said. “Players are going to have to assume new roles then they are used to.”

The hope is that this new style of play will lead to success close to the net, a chance in close games, and more wins.

The Summit girls soccer team will get their first chance to test their new roles and game plan on Saturday, March 12 as they take on Glenwood Springs on the road.

“We are mainly focusing on ourselves right now,” Daniels said. “We have no control over our opponents but we have absolute control over our effort, our attitude.”

The kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Tigers girls varsity soccer schedule

March 12 at Glenwood Springs, 11 a.m.

March 15 at Battle Mountain, 6 p.m.

March 19 vs. Crested Butte 11 a.m.

March 22 at Woodland Park, 6 p.m.

March 26 at Eagle Valley, 11 a.m.

March 29 vs.Steamboat Springs, 4 p.m.

April 1 vs. Salida, 4 p.m.

April 5 vs. Eagle Valley, 4 p.m.

April 9 at Palisade, 1 p.m.

April 12 at Steamboat Springs, 6 p.m.

April 14 at Conifer, 4 p.m.

April 28 vs. Battle Mountain, 6 p.m.

May 3 at Coal Ridge, 4 p.m.

May 5 vs. Glenwood Springs, 6 p.m.

May 7 vs. Palisade, 11 a.m.

May 11: First round of State Playoffs

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