Summit boys soccer falls at Battle Mountain 7-0 |

Summit boys soccer falls at Battle Mountain 7-0

Tigers eager for bounce-back wins in season’s final week

Summit High Tiger Alex Casillas battles for the ball against Steamboat Springs' Gerardo Mendoza during the home opener of the boys varsity soccer season at Climax Molybdenum Field at Tiger Stadium on Thursday, March 18, 2021. The Tigers lost to the Sailors 3-0.
Photo by Jason Connolly / Jason Connolly Photography

The Summit High School varsity boys soccer team record fell to 2-5 on the season with a 7-0 loss at undefeated rival and state-championship contender Battle Mountain Thursday night in Edwards.

The Tigers played the Huskies even through the game’s first 10 minutes of back-and-forth action before the Huskies beat Summit’s back line over the top. The Huskies’ composed finish past the senior goalkeeper Wylam Mocatta into the bottom left-hand corner of the net was followed up by another quick goal for a 2-0 lead that ballooned to 4-0 by halftime.

Tigers head coach Tommy Gogolen said the Huskies threw numbers forward, with their outside backs running up the wings, in an offensive strategy that forced the Summit forwards to retreat and help defensively.

“It overloaded us and it was hard for us to track their runs,” Gogolen said. “Battle (Mountain) sends everybody forward. They are really dangerous.”

The win improved the Huskies record to 8-0 on the season and a first-place 7-0 in 4A Western Slope League play. Thursday before the game versus the Tigers, the Huskies were ranked fifth of 71 4A teams statewide in the RPI ranking. Summit was ranked 51st.

Gogolen said senior Alex Casillas was a leader as playing stuck in the Tigers’ midfield. Casillas did his best to win 50-50 balls and move Summit’s possession once they had the ball at their feet.

“We still had opportunities,” Gogolen said. “Alex had some shots on goal, (sophomore forward) Fabian (Cuevas) hit the crossbar at one point. With Battle sending so many people forward, it left the counterattack open, and we countered them some, but couldn’t capitalize.”

Summit junior midfielder Andrew Martin did play his second consecutive game, but Gogolen said the Tigers leader is still only 60% physically as he continues to recover from a groin injury.

With goalkeeper Jesus “Che Che” Alvarado Lopez still out due to COVID-19 contact-tracing protocols, senior Wylam Mocatta made 14 saves as he guarded Summit’s net for all 80 minutes.

Summit will next play at Rifle (0-6) Monday, April 12. The Bears are ranked below Summit in the statewide 4A RPI and were defeated by the Tigers 3-2 at home earlier in the month. Gogolen said if the Tigers can play “dangerous” forward offense and execute better in the buildup against the Bears Monday, he thinks the team will have a good chance for victory ahead of Thursday’s senior night game at home versus Glenwood Springs (4 p.m.) as the short 10-game spring season winds down.

“We’ve been working on looking for a more dangerous pass through the defense,” Gogolen said. “Once you do get in the final third (of the field) and you’re knocking on the door, that’s the time to go ahead and take a chance and take a player on. We’ve been actually moving the ball around nice. It’s pretty and all, but that does not put a point on the board for us.”

Gogolen said the team is being led in the season’s homestretch ahead of the season finale, 11 a.m. next Saturday, April 17 at Eagle Valley, by seniors Ivan Gutierrez and Andre Ayala.

“We’ll be sad to see them go, but they still have a couple games left, and they are eager to go out and get a couple more victories here in the final few games of the season,” Gogolen said.

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