Young Summit girls soccer team gelling through early season; Tigers track and field stars shine at Spartan Spike
When Rifle High School walked up to Tiger Stadium to play the Summit High School varsity girls soccer team on March 16, it was quite the scene. A 2-foot-wide path toward the turf carved out of the deep snow made it feel more like a snow globe than a soccer pitch, Summit head coach Tommy Gogolen said.
Each spring, the typically snowy start of the season for Gogolen and the Summit girls soccer program is much different than for Gogolen and the boys program when they start up each August. In August, Gogolen said it often feels like the season can’t get here soon enough with one practice under the hot summer sun after another. Come March, though, the start of the girls season can feel a bit rushed. However, Gogolen said playing soccer in these kinds of atypical early spring conditions can prove exciting too, especially for a young team like his that is still gelling together and finding their confidence.
“With our girls, it’s the big hustle to get everything done in terms of organization on the field and to get everything prepped and ready,” Gogolen said. “It’s a challenge, but, no excuses, it makes everything fun.”
Fun was certainly what the Tigers experienced when they began their season with a 8-0 victory over Rifle, one that featured five goals from Tigers sophomore and first-year varsity striker Abigail Wineland. Wineland is one of several up-and-coming players the Tiger program is relying on this season after some strong, college-bound seniors departed after the 2018 spring campaign. And though the Tigers have lost four in a row since their trouncing of Rifle, Gogolen is hopeful his young team can build off of what they have done well in that season-opening victory and in the games since.
“We’ve just got to bring our level up to that of the competition,” Gogolen said. “Our girls can knock the ball around, we can possess, we can move the ball, we can put it in the back of our opponents net, it’s just a matter of matching our competition level to their’s.”
Looking ahead, the Tigers will have opportunities to avenge some of their early season losses, such as a 1-0 loss at home to Eagle Valley. The key to pulling off victories like that, Gogolen said, is for the squad to approach midfield play a little bit more offensive-minded, pushing more and taking more chances up top.
“That ‘this is an opportunity to be selfish,’” Gogolen said. “‘We worked hard moving the ball all the way up to our final third, so now is the time to pull the trigger and score.’”
The Tigers thus far this season have been led by their defense, which has a senior captain anchoring the center-back position in the athletic, organized and knowledgable CeCe Pennell. Behind Pennell, junior Anna Tomlinson has returned to play well as goalkeeper, as Gogolen said, Tomlinson’s performances have been stronger than score lines indicate.
As for the offense, Gogolen commended Wineland for her “cannon” of a shot, “lightning-fast” speed and “striker’s mentality.” Wineland plays in front of an improving midfield centered around center-mid Breanna Roach. A junior captain, Gogolen described Roach as a natural leader who “has her hand in the pot” on both the offensive and defensive sides.
Looking ahead, Roach said the key to this year’s success will come down to continued team chemistry. After most recently losing 7-0 on the road to Steamboat Springs, Summit will travel to Aspen for a 4 p.m. game on Thursday before returning to their snowbanked home pitch at Tiger Stadium on Saturday to take on Steamboat Springs at 11 a.m.
“The more we get out and get touches on the ball together,” Roach said, “the more we learn about each other’s style and the more we will be able to work together and be on the same page.”
Track and field
The Summit boys track and field team earned fifth place at last week’s Spartan Spike Invitational in Berthoud while the girls competed to a sixth-place finish.
The Tigers boys were led on the day by Brennan Creen’s success in three individual competitions and Lorenzo Lucia’s third-place finish in the 100-meter dash (12.26 seconds) and fourth-place showing in the high jump (5 feet, 6 inches). Those two marks from the senior Lucia earned the Tigers eight of their 82 points in the team competition.
Lucia’s fellow Summit senior Creen ran to second place in the 110-meter hurdles, as his time of 18.49 seconds was just over a quarter-second behind the winning pace of Carter Von Seggerend of Berthoud. Creen also ran to third place in the 300-meter hurdles, with a time of 45.95. Across the two events, Creen earned the Tigers 11 team points, while his fourth-place finish in the triple jump (37 feet, 2 inches) also earned Summit five team points. Summit’s Gray Wasson ran to fourth place in the 300-meter hurdles, with a time of 45.95.
Other top-five finishes at the Spartan Spike for Summit’s boys included Korben Long’s fifth-place finish and time of 12.47 in the 100-meter dash, Long’s fifth-place finish and time of 24.81 in the 200 meters and Sam Burke and Jeremiah Vaille’s back-to-back third- and fourth-place finishes in the 3,200-meter run, with times of 10:47.89 and 10:49.96, respectively.
The Summit boys’ top relay of the day came in the 4×100-meter relay, where Demary Frater, Lucia and Long teamed up with Gabe Dalrymple to run to a second-place time of 47.34, about one and a half seconds off of the winning pace of Loveland’s relay team.
On the girls side, Summit senior Noelle Resignolo won the 800-meter run; her time of 2:31.60 was six seconds ahead of any other runner.
The Summit girls had several second-place finishes including senior Cashema Hemans’ second-place finish in the 100-meter dash. Hemans’ time of 13.52 was just over a minute off of the winning pace of Highland’s Remington Ross. Summit junior Grace Staberg also ran to second place in the 1,600-meter run, her time of 5:53.46 just under six seconds off of the winning pace of Loveland’s Cadence Lapp. Staberg ran to third place in the 3,200 meters with a time of 12:33.32.
Summit senior Emma Howard was another top performer for the Tigers girls at the Spartan Spike, as Howard jumped to third place in the high jump (4 feet, 9 inches) while also earning fifth place in the long jump with a mark of 14 feet, 11 inches. And in the 400 meters, Summit’s Madi Hirsh ran to fifth place with a time of 1:04.79.
The Tigers boys and girls varsity track and field teams will return to action on Saturday at Eagle Valley High School.
The Summit varsity baseball team (1-10) picked up its first win of the season on March 26 when the Tigers triumphed over Hinkley as part of the Arvada Tournament.
In the win, Summit senior pitcher Andrew Reynolds picked up the victory after the Tigers hitters batted home four runs in the first inning. The Tigers’ offensive outburst was led by sophomore Foster Kruger’s three-RBI, 2-for-4 performance at the plate. Reynolds also scored three runs on a 2-for-4 showing at the plate while sophomore Zach Misch registered three hits, one RBI and two runs.
Since the win over Hinkley, Summit has lost a doubleheader at Palisade, by the scores of 11-1 and 12-0, and a road game at Berthoud by the score of 12-2. The Tigers will return to the diamond for a doubleheader at Eagle Valley on Friday, with games scheduled for 2 and 4 p.m.
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