Summit boys soccer notches 5th win in a row, defeats Evergreen 4-1
The last time the Summit boys soccer team lost a game was nearly a month ago when the team fell to the Battle Mountain Huskies Aug. 23 in a 4-3 overtime loss.
Since then, the Tigers have been on a roll, notching their fifth straight win against the Evergreen Cougars on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at Tiger Field in Breckenridge.
The Cougars traveled to Summit with a 1-5 overall record and 0-1 in the 4A Jefferson County League. Despite the team’s losing record, it did not take Evergreen long to mount a lead on the Tigers.
Fourty-one seconds into the game, an Evergreen player sprinted past the defensive core of Summit and fired the ball past senior Trevor Hodges in goal. The goal caught the Tigers off guard, but the team quickly resettled to get back control of the game’s rhythm.
With Summit now controlling the pace, the Tigers recorded several shots on goal, but the early chances were stopped by Evergreen’s sophomore goalie Liam Kelly.
Four minutes after the goal by Evergreen, senior Owen Gallo found Erick Barahona in front of the net who fired a shot at Kelly but was blocked by the Evergreen defense. Following the block, Alex Espinoza fought his way to the ball and fired through the Cougars defense to score, evening the score at 1-1 early in the first half.
Summit upped its intensity following the Espinoza goal but the Cougars worked hard to thwart the Summit advances. After a prolonged period of the two teams battling up and down the field, senior Fabian Cuevas scored the go-ahead goal after a series of Summit shots ricocheted close to the net.
It was not long before Cuevas scored his second goal of the game — Evergreen committed a penalty close to the net, setting up a penalty kick for Cuevas around 10 yards away from the net. He easily put a fiery shot past Kelly, giving the Tigers a 3-1 lead at the end of the first half.
“When we got scored on I knew we could come back,” Cuevas said. “It was just an accident, it happens to most of us. I told the team to keep our heads up.”
In the second half both teams battled up and down the field, working for offensive opportunities. Both defenses allowed shots on goal in front of the net but junior goalie Abdoul Kane, who was in net through the second half, managed to keep the goal clear.
Kelly also looked strong for the majority of the final half, however with 11 minutes remaining, the Tigers’ perseverance paid off. Gallo managed to break down the field, chasing after a loose ball. He sprinted past two Evergreen defenders, maintained possession and laid his shot to score the Tigers’ fourth unanswered goal of the game.
Kane and the Summit defense — with senior Evan Reil at the forefront — closed out the remainder of the game to defeat Evergreen 4-1.
Cuevas says the team’s 4-3 come-from-behind win against Glenwood Springs on Sept. 1 has played a role in his confidence.
“Ever since we got that momentum of coming back 3-1 against Glenwood I have believed in my teammates and know we could win,” Cuevas said.
The Tigers advance to 6-1 on the season and are getting off to the best start the program has had since the 2012 season when the team was 5-2 through seven games.
Summit will now prepare to face Eagle Valley — the No. 1-ranked team in the 4A Western Slope League — on Thursday, Sept. 15, in Gypsum.
“I think we should come out strong, positive,” Cuevas said of the team’s mentality heading into its game at Eagle Valley
The Eagle Valley Devils are currently 7-0 on the season and 4-0 in league play. Thursday’s game is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m.
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