Summit boys soccer loses heartbreaker at Eagle Valley to end season |

Summit boys soccer loses heartbreaker at Eagle Valley to end season

Devils win 2-1 on penalty kick in waning moments

Summit senior captain midfielder Alex Casillas battles for the ball against Glenwood Springs Demons player on senior night at Climax Molybdenum Field at Tiger Stadium on Thursday, April 15. The Tigers defeated the Demons 4-0.
Photo by Jason Connolly / Jason Connolly Photography

The Summit High School varsity boys soccer season ended in heartbreaking fashion Saturday in a 2-1 loss at Eagle Valley.

In the battle of 4-5 teams, the Devils were the ones to end the season with a 0.500 record thanks to a penalty-kick goal in the game’s final moments. The Devils drew the penalty via a through-ball that got in behind the Tigers back line. Tigers junior center back Lucas Sudduth did his best to chase down the Devils threat, but his momentum carried him through the Eagle Valley player, resulting in the penalty.

Tigers head coach Tommy Gogolen said the play was the only negative one on a day where Sudduth was one of Summit’s standout players from his defensive back position. Sudduth poured everything he could into the final game of the 10-match spring season, even if it meant he walked off the field banged up and bloody, needing attention from the athletic trainer.

Even in the loss, Gogolen said this 4-6 Tigers team was one of the better teams he’s coached in the high-level Western Slope league. As for the Tigers’ seniors, they were a tight-knit group who he knows from here will go through life together.

“This senior class has unity and a bond from playing together for years,” Gogolen said. “I’m proud to be part of their high school journey.”

Of those seniors, Gogolen said midfielder Alex Casillas stepped up and played great at center midfield Saturday in place of junior Andrew Martin, who was unable to play many minutes due to a groin injury.

“It was a good moment for him,” Gogolen said of Casillas. “I challenged the boys at halftime that all I can do as a coach is ask for you to give 100% the last 40 minutes of the season.”

Summit did just that led by senior Ivan Gutierrez’s quarterbacking of Summit’s possession and sophomore Owen Gallo McMahon’s dynamic play. Previously in the first half, Gutierrez helped Summit capture a 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the game on a corner-kick to the far post that found the head of junior wing Gannon Heisler.

But the Devils equalized 15 minutes later on a shot from the top of the 18 that Summit’s defenders didn’t step up and close down. It led to a “pretty unsaveable” shot, Gogolen said, that beat senior keeper Wylam Mocata for a 1-1 halftime score.

Mocatta ended the day with six saves and was another senior Gogolen praised Saturday. Another was forward Esteban Fernandez, a positive, fun-loving presence for the Tigers at each practice who Gogolen said on Saturday embraced the moment.

“He played outstanding today in the minutes he did have,” Gogolen said. “He’s an example of showing up to practice and putting a smile on his face and making us laugh. And he’s a great soccer player and great young man as well.”

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