Persistence pays off for Summit in the second half as Tigers force shutout against Salida, 2-0
The Summit High School girls soccer team wanted to go into the weekend with a win after dropping two straight games to tough league opponents and not playing to the best of the team’s ability.
The Tigers had a tough test ahead of them however, as the team faced the 1-0 Salida Spartans on Friday, April 1, at Tiger Stadium in Breckenridge.
The first few minutes of the game were nothing short of an old-fashioned shoot out as the two non-league opponents matched each other’s every move. A majority of play took place in the neutral zone as both teams fought to take an advantage.
The Tigers started to break past the Salida defense, led by Olyvia Snyder and Maggie Barggren, but the team could not put a solid shot on net, which kept the score tied at zero at the 25-minute mark of the first half.
In the latter part of the first half, Salida had several chances to score the first goal of the game, but the Summit defensive line worked tirelessly to shut down all advances. Their effort paid off because they allowed a minimal amount of shots to find make it to Sarah Pappas in goal. Pappas was a stone wall throughout the game, blocking everything that came her way.
At the end of the first half, no team had an advantage over the other as the score remained tied, 0-0.
Salida was aggressive out of halftime. The team fired off several quick shots toward Pappas in goal, but the strikers were not able to find success.
The Tigers started to show frustration as the Spartans made it hard for the team get the ball past midfield. The Tigers remained persistent, however, fighting through the adversity to make several advances at the goal.
The team’s hard-fought attitude and determination paid dividends moments later. Summit freshman Olivia Lyman fired a lofting shot that glanced off the Salida goalie and into the back of the net to put Summit up 1-0 with 23 minutes remaining in the game.
Immediately following the Summit goal, Salida marched down the field to get two straight corner kicks. Both attempts were dangerously close to the goal, but Pappas and the rest of the Summit defense were able to clear the ball from the area.
“Sarah Pappas has been working really hard on those reactions saves and did what a goalkeeper does, getting her body big and spreading herself out to not allow any shots to break in,” head coach Jotwan Daniels said.
The two failed corner kicks by Salida seemed to suck the energy out of the Spartans. The Tigers took advantage of this lack of energy by making it really hard for the Spartans to find a groove with its offensive zone.
With 15 minutes remaining in the game, the Tigers scored their second goal of the game as Joselin Roque executed on a loose ball and sent it to the back of the net.
For the rest of the game, Summit kept Salida at bay in order to get its second win of the season with a shutout, 2-0, victory.
“We wanted to be more stubborn today than we were on Tuesday (against Steamboat),” Daniels said. “We knew with this game, and the game of soccer in general, there was going to be frustrating moments and brilliant moments, so we had to be stubborn in order to not let our emotions get too high or too low,”
The win over Salida moves Summit to 2-3 on the season as the team prepares to take on Eagle Valley at home on Tuesday, April 5.
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