Summit girls soccer falls in shootout to Glenwood Springs, 3-2
The 4A Western Slope league schedule has been a gantlet this season for the Summit girls soccer team, with many of games having playoff-like energy and coming down to a single goal.
The Tigers senior night game against the Glenwood Springs Demons on Thursday, May 5, was no different with the two league rivals squaring off in a shootout for the second time this season.
In the teams’ first matchup in Glenwood Springs on April 8, Summit lost 1-0. Since that game however, head coach Jotwan Daniels has felt like the Summit girls soccer program has transformed, proving it can go toe-to-toe with competitive league teams.
Thursday the Tigers got off to a slow and shaky start, spending several of the opening minutes attempting to slow down the offense of the Demons. The Demons executed on distributing the ball around the field and creating offensive opportunities.
A few minutes into the first half, Glenwood Springs offense chased after a loose ball making its way towards goalie Sarah Pappas. Pappas attempted to secure the ball, but a Demons player got a toe on it to put the ball out of her reach and into the back of the net for a 1-0 Glenwood lead.
Glenwood Springs started to dig in after the team’s first goal.
Summit’s defensive core of Brina Babich, Ella Meltzer and Gracelyn Garvert worked hard to not allow a second ball to find its way back to Pappas, but the offense initially struggled to get the ball farther down the field. On numerous occasions a Summit forward was met by a Glenwood Springs player waiting to steal the ball, stalling a potential offensive advance.
“It was too jittery. I don’t think we really had a good grip on the game,” Daniels said of the first half. “They had some tactical situations that were giving us trouble, and we didn’t really figure it out until the end of the first half.”
It was Ella Snyder who finally found a way to create an opportunity. Snyder sprinted after a loose ball, gained control of it and passed to Kelley Duffy about 15 yards away from goal. Duffy got a shot off, but the ball was stopped by the Demons goaltender.
The Tigers’ first-half persistence eventually paid off when a blocked shot, fired by Olivia Lyman, found its way to Snyder, who was feet away from the net. She drove it home to tie the game at, 1-1 with nine minutes remaining the first half.
The goal spurred Summit on, and the team found several more opportunities to score while Glenwood Springs grew frustrated. At the end of the half the game remained tied at 1-1.
Snyder and Paola Arredondo started off the second half by threatening Glenwood Springs with two shots on goal, both of which were wrangled by the Demons keeper.
Summit continued to buzz around the Demons net, putting the visiting team on its heels. Duffy got another chance from around 15 yards away and managed to loft a shot over the Demons goaltender to bring the score to 2-1 with 32 minutes remaining in the game.
Playing keep away from the Demons, the Tigers maintained possession of the ball for several minutes until the Demons found itself with the opportunity for a free kick.
Kicking from around 25 yards out, Glenwood Springs sent a ball towards Pappas, but the senior goalie bounced the ball up and over the goal, setting up for a Demons corner kick.
The Demons evened the score on the corner kick, sending a near-perfect cross pass in front of the net which was tapped in, past Pappas, with 23 minutes remaining.
The frazzled Tigers attempted to resettle, but minutes later the go-ahead goal was scored when a Demons forward broke through the Tigers’ defense to put a ball over the head of Pappas.
Summit refused to give up. The team scrounged for possession of the ball and substantial offensive looks at the net.
Senior Olyvia Snyder tried multiple times along the sideline to find someone across the field for a clear shot, but the Demons were always in the path of the ball.
Glenwood Springs closed out the game to defeat Summit by one goal for the second time this season, 3-2.
“Hats off to Glenwood,” Daniels said. “We know we can play with them. We know we can hang with them. It just wasn’t meant to be today. We gave them everything we had.”
Following the game, the Summit girls soccer team honored its three seniors Olyvia Snyder, Pappas and Elizabeth Darst, all of whom served as leaders and mentors for the younger athletes on the team.
Summit will host Palisade for its final game of the season on Saturday, May 7, at 11 a.m.
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