Steamboat Springs freezes Summit girls soccer team’s defense during spring snow squall to win, 4-2
After a spring weekend full of sunshine and above-freezing temperatures, flurries blanketed Summit County on Tuesday, March 29, just as the Summit High School girls soccer team lined up to take on the Steamboat Springs Sailors in the team’s third league match of the season.
From the first kickoff, the two league rivals were off to slow start, presumably as they tried to warm themselves up in the frigid weather and figure out the other team’s strategy for the icy conditions.
About six minutes into the first half, Summit’s methodical play started to pay off in front of the net as Joselin Roque and Gracelyn Garvert both recorded shots on goal.
Following several strong offensive possessions by the Tigers, the Sailors had a series of its own, bombarding the Tigers goaltender, Sarah Pappas, with powerful shots.
Then, Steamboat Springs dominated play for a solid 10 minutes with the majority of that time being spent in the Sailors’ offensive zone. Eventually the pressure by the Sailors was too much for the Tigers. The Sailors scored on a ball that ricocheted off several Tigers defenders before finding its way past Pappas.
The goal put the Sailors up 1-0 with 23 minutes remaining in the first half.
The goal seemed to energize the Tigers as the team immediately responded by driving the ball down the field and putting several shots at the net. However, none of the Tigers looks resulted in a goal.
Instead, the Sailors closed the half with the team’s second goal of the game to go up 2-0.
By the time the second half rolled around, the entirety of Tiger Field was covered in snow. There was so much snow that Summit High School athletic director, Travis Avery, went onto the field with several parents to shovel the sidelines and goalie boxes.
The snow slowed down the pace of play and made it tricky for anyone to get a good foot on the ball.
“It changes everything,” head coach Jotwan Daniels said of the snow. “It’s not one of those things where one team is at an advantage over the other. It actually neutralizes the game.”
The snow did not completely slow down the Tigers, though. Six minutes into the fresh 40-minute half, sophomore forward Ella Synder was able to chase a loose ball and put it past the Sailors’ goalie to bring the score to 2-1.
After some back-and-forth play between the two teams, the Tigers evened the score at 2-2 as junior midfielder Paola Arredondo put the ball past the Sailors’ goaltender.
The Tigers had clawed their way back into the game, scoring two straight goals to start the half, but the Sailors had the final say in the game. Minutes later, the Sailors lofted a shot over the head of Pappas to make the score 3-2.
“To go down 2-0 in the first half and to get two goals back was incredible effort, incredible resolve,” Daniels said. “That third goal – rocket, top shelf – that kind of broke our back.”
Steamboat Springs ended Summits chance for a comeback and pulled away with the game when the team made the score 4-2 with 10 minutes remaining in the match.
As the field conditions quickly deteriorated, players often took spills in the cold, wet snow. Steamboat Springs did an excellent job at working to close out the rest of the game until the match was mutually ended with two minutes remaining in the game due to the hazardous field conditions and the heightened risk of injury.
Steamboat Springs defeated the Tigers, 4-2.
The Tigers loss moves the team to 1-3 overall and 0-3 in league play. The Tigers will prepare to play again on Friday, April 1, when the team hosts the 1-0 Salida Spartans.
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