Summit girls soccer drops 3-2 thriller at Battle Mountain
The Summit High School varsity girls soccer team played toe-to-toe with Battle Mountain before losing 3-2 on the road Saturday, May 15, in Gypsum.
“Even though we came up short, what we saw on the field today is the vision of what I think this team can look like,” Tigers head coach Jotwan Daniels said. “It’s starting to come together. They played with desire, passion and enthusiasm.”
Daniels prepped his team to keep the game as neutral as possible in the midfield, avoiding opportunities for the Huskies to create in space. Daniels said Tigers sophomore holding midfielder Brina Babich led Summit’s effort to anchor its defense in the competitive early action versus Battle Mountain.
Summit made the most of the defensive tone the team set thanks to an early goal in the third minute from sophomore Maggie Bargarren. Bargarren won the ball 10 yards into Summit’s attacking half and made the most of open space in front of her to set up a looping goal over Battle Mountain star goalkeeper Gabriela Caballero at the back post.
Down 1-0, Battle Mountain ratcheted up its attack. The aggression led to a Husky goal on a corner kick during which Summit struggled to clear the threat. Battle Mountain tapped the opportunity to the back of the net to equalize 1-1 16 minutes into the game.
With the score tied at halftime, Huskies coach David Cope opted to take Caballero — an athletic star who scored more than 40 points during a basketball game at Summit earlier this year — out of goal to play in the outfield.
Battle Mountain came out on fire to start the second half, leading to a goal 11 minutes in thanks to a Tiger handball and resulting penalty kick for a 2-1 Husky lead.
Daniels was familiar with Caballero’s talent from coaching with the Vail Valley Soccer Club before taking the Summit job — and he adjusted Summit’s approach accordingly. Despite Caballero’s presence out in the field, Summit tied it at 2-2 on a stellar free kick from sophomore Kelley Duffy that Battle Mountain’s backup goalkeeper bobbled and let behind her.
Caballero responded in the 70th minute of the 80-minute affair a few moments later, winning possession on a goal kick in the midfield to score the eventual game-winning goal.
“She does the things that the average player doesn’t think to do,” Daniels said.
Daniels was ecstatic with the Tigers’ effort Saturday and said senior Maclean Donovan excelled in a new role at left back.
Daniels also said Babich and fellow sophomore Paola Arredondo played well in the midfield to complement sophomore captain Katy Clapp’s effort in the midfield.
With an 0-3 record after the loss, Summit will continue to look to secure its first win of the season at home at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 20, in a rematch versus Eagle Valley.
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