Summit boys soccer rallies to defeat Salida 3-1
The Summit High School varsity boys soccer team recovered from an early 1-0 hole to defeat Salida 3-1 on Thursday, Sept. 23, in Salida.
Tigers head coach Jotwan Daniels said the Tigers started the game with tired legs after a hard-fought effort in a 3-0 homecoming loss to Battle Mountain on Tuesday, Sept. 21. Because of the team’s lingering fatigue, Daniels switched up the lineup to start some fresh players. Then, 10 minutes into the game, Salida found an opening goal on a defensive miscommunication from the Tigers.
From there, Summit picked up its sense of urgency and dug in defensively while the Tigers midfield and forwards picked up the pace of play. The improved teamwide play led to a goal from Tigers senior Alan Casillas with 12 minutes remaining in the first half to tie the game 1-1.
“He’s a great finisher, and he put it away,” Daniels said.
With the score still tied at the start of the second half, Daniels said Tigers midfield captains Andrew Martin and Owen Gallo stepped up and were more purposeful with their midfield play being dangerous going forward. The junior Gallo found a goal in the second half to give Summit a 2-1 lead. And then Summit junior Alex Espinoza finished a goal himself for the eventual 3-1 final score line.
“Alex, he had a phenomenal game,” Daniels said. “We were able to find him in great positions. His abilities on the ball — to drive at defenders and give them trouble — was on full display. He had three really good chances. He could have easily had a hat trick.”
Daniels said senior Jose Casillas also stepped up in the midfield, particularly toward the end of the game when he helped set the tone for the Tigers. And the coach lauded junior defender Evan Reil for his awareness and positioning at left back.
“He had a great understanding of where to position himself to prevent anything from going wrong defensively,” Daniels said. “He was absolutely on point, winning balls in air. Him and Alex combined on the left side, and in the second half, that’s where most of our attack came from.”
In net, Tigers junior goalkeeper Trevor Hodges made two saves and responded from the early Salida goal.
“He was probably a little disappointed giving up that first goal — as a whole, we were — but I loved his response,” Daniels said. “After that, when he was called upon, he kept them out of the net. Trevor’s getting better with his positioning and protecting as much of the goal as possible. The whole back line responded well to the slow start.”
Now at 3-3-1 on the season, Summit will return to action with a home game at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29, versus Eagle Valley.
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