Summit girls soccer loses heartbreaker at Steamboat Springs
Tigers show might in 1-0 road loss versus league leader
The Summit High School varsity girls soccer team lost a heartbreaker at Steamboat Springs on Thursday 1-0.
The Tigers (1-5, 1-5 4A Western Slope) kept pace with the first place Sailors (7-1, 7-1) through 75 minutes of the 80-minute game. Then the referees awarded Steamboat a penalty kick on a sliding tackle by Tigers senior defender Camille Thompson. The Sailors scored the goal on the kick before the Tigers threw caution to the wind and advanced numbers forward in the final moments but to no avail.
Tigers head coach Jotwan Daniels was frustrated Summit lost on a decision by the referee, but felt the performance was the best of the Tigers’ season and shows how far the program has come.
“We talked a lot before the game about what we are trying to do this year is let teams know we are not that old squad anymore, and if you think that, you’re in for rude awakening,” Daniels said. “Today we put it all together. We put a chip on our shoulder for 75 minutes of the game, and we took their best punches, and it wasn’t enough to knock us out, and I thought that was amazing.”
Daniels said the first-place Sailors played a very crafty game, controlling possession time for 60% of the affair. Steamboat utilized speed out wide to try to create in front of Summit’s goal in the final third.
But the Tigers opted for a 4-3-2-1 formation of their own versus Steamboat’s 4-3-3, the stout, pitbull defensive strategy helping Summit stay in game as long as possible as there weren’t as many spaces for Steamboat to get behind Summit’s back line.
At the game’s 60-minute mark with Steamboat’s failure in breaking Summit’s defense down, the Sailors increased their strategy of working down the wings and earning corner kicks. But the Tigers stood tough.
“We defended with an intensity I haven’t seen yet,” Daniels said. “Camille Thompson was phenomenal, the player of the match in more ways than one. Her graduate leadership was incredible. She was winning balls out of the air and loving to defend.”
Daniels also highlighted the play of Tigers graduated senior Abigail Wineland as a target forward. The Tigers style meant they tried to find her feet up top offensively and invite defenders in on her. On the offensive end, Wineland’s presence opened up opportunities for teammates. Summit’s two best scoring chances were from junior wing Olyvia Snyder forcing a deft save at the Sailors near post and a header by sophomore midfielder Katy Clapp off of a corner kick that deflected off a Steamboat defender.
Daniels also highlighted the play of graduated senior defender Ruby Gerard off the bench in a game where Summit had only 16 eligible players.
The coach said Clapp and sophomore Kelley Duffy were great in the midfield and were surrounded by driven seniors.
In net, Tiger junior Sarah Pappas had a breakout effort with 13 second-half saves. It was a recovery performance for first-year player Pappas after a tough outing Tuesday at home. In the first half, graduated senior Grace Rogers stopped five Sailor shots.
“That’s exactly why I recruited her to be goalkeeper,” Daniels said of Pappas. “Because of that sort of mentality. You give up four goals a day-and-a-half ago and she played great. You couldn’t have told me that was a first-year goalkeeper.”
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