Summit boys soccer drops home game to Eagle Valley
Tigers return home Saturday to host Lutheran
The Summit High School varsity boys soccer team lost 3-0 at Tiger Stadium to rival Eagle Valley on Wednesday night.
Tigers head coach Jotwan Daniels said though the Tigers played better overall than in their previous 3-0 loss to Battle Mountain, Wednesday’s loss was the consequence of a pair of set-piece penalties that bookended the first half for the visiting Devils.
“We were up for the game,” Daniels said. “There was a lot of energy in the locker room beforehand, and we loved the energy of pregame. But the pregame jitters got into us, and we put ourselves under tremendous pressure after the opening whistle not being secure with the ball in our defensive half.”
The poor start included a poor pass in Summit’s defensive half that led to a turnover and defensive scramble situation. Ultimately, the Devils earned a free kick 20 yards outside of the Tigers’ net in the second minute of the game that Eagle Valley hammered home underneath the Summit cross bar for an early 1-0 lead.
Daniels said that after the goal, it took Summit some time to settle into the game, but it eventually did, playing Eagle Valley even for much of the first half. Though Summit advanced the ball well at times, the team continued to struggle to click in the final attacking third to get dangerous shots on net.
Then in the final moments of the first half, Daniels said a weird defensive ball that the Tigers usually handle beat Summit’s back line. Indecision between Summit defenders and junior goalkeeper Trevor Hodges resulted in a penalty kick situation the Devils converted for a 2-0 lead at halftime.
“They were two simple mistakes that are preventable that led to two goals happening, and that’s the cruelty of the sport,” Daniels said. “Sometimes, you make mistakes and it punishes you.”
Daniels said the Tigers began the second half playing more sound and compact defensively. But on the other end, the Devils played “stubborn” defense, too, preventing Summit from finding spaces to attack. As a result, the Tigers switched up their formation to a more creative approach, but with 15 minutes left in the game, Eagle Valley launched a quick counter attack that beat Summit over the top and left Hodges in a one-versus-one situation he did not win.
Despite the loss, which dropped Summit’s record to 3-4-1 on the season, Daniels said Summit junior defender Evan Reil stepped up and played an intelligent and smart game on the left wing.
“He was a big factor in us changing energy in the second half and winning 50-50 balls,” Daniels said. “He’s defending like a monster.”
The coach also complimented sophomore midfield Santiago Casco’s penchant to compete in the midfield as well as senior attacking midfielder Alan Casillas’ energy and effort up top.
The Tigers are next scheduled to play visiting Lutheran High School at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2.
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