Summit girls soccer takes first win of year in thrilling fashion |

Summit girls soccer takes first win of year in thrilling fashion

Duffy’s set piece, sudden-death strike caps senior day victory

Summit High School varsity girls soccer coach Jotwan Daniels and the Tigers team found out about the baseball team’s grand-slam, walk-off victory shortly before the team’s senior night game versus Eagle Valley Thursday, May 20.

“And we were like, ‘we can’t be the only ones,’” Daniels said. “‘We have to see what we can do.’”

What the Tigers did was win a game in their own thrilling, sudden-death fashion.

It came thanks to a golden goal from sophomore midfielder Kelley Duffy. After Duffy scored the go-ahead penalty-kick goal late in the second half to give Summit the 1-0 lead, the Devils responded with just 17 seconds left in the game to equalize and send it to overtime. Duffy responded again in overtime, shaking off some initial nerves before drilling a free kick beneath the Devils crossbar to send her team into a winning frenzy for the first time this season.

“I couldn’t stop smiling after it went in,” Duffy said. “This shows we are a different team than we used to be. It’s definitely a new reputation. I’m super excited for the next few years.”

Summit High’s Paola Arrendondo races after the ball during a match against Eagle Valley on Thursday, May 20, 2021 at Tiger Stadium in Breckenridge.

After the 2-1 win, Daniels is excited as well. Duffy was one of several sophomores — Maggie Barggren, Paola Arredondo, Katy Clapp, the list goes on — who excelled to earn Daniels’ his first win as head coach.

The win meant the world for Daniels, who took over the program before last year’s season was canceled due to the pandemic. Despite that, Daniels groomed experienced players and recruited other talented athletes to join the team to cultivate a side that can contend in the mountains.

Daniels said the win meant the vision he had two years ago “never went anywhere.”

“We talked a lot before the game of what we are trying to do is never going to be measured by the scoreboard,” Daniels said, “but we can show them what our success looks like: desire, passion and enthusiasm. That was it.”

After Thursday’s win he knows they are forging a new identity of buy-in led by Duffy’s special talent.

“I love her ability to assume responsibility and I keep putting more on her plate and she’s ready for it,” Daniels said. “I think she is the epitome of what I’d say is a Summit soccer player with me as coach: we are tough-nosed. We play hard. We try to play smart and intelligent. We take that responsibility, and don’t shy away from tough moments, and she stepped up.”

The Summit High School girls varsity soccer players huddle together before the start of first overtime during a senior day match against Eagle Valley Thursday, May 20, 2021 at Tiger Stadium in Breckenridge.

After Eagle Valley equalized in the waning seconds of regulation Daniels said he told the team nothing changes in overtime. He preached to view the game as 0-9 and drop back and defend with numbers. The moment they got the ball, he wanted them to attack like banshees, and that’s exactly what they did.

The coach told the girls to do their best, because their best was good enough for a win — and that wasn’t just in the game-winning moment. Tigers freshman wing Ella Snyder used her speed, skill and power to earn Duffy the penalty-kick change to take the 1-0 lead.

Daniels also credited the seniors for stepping up. To the coach, the side’s logo is on the back of their jersey — and not individual players’ names — for a reason.

“We put the team on our back,” Daniels said. “And if all 21 of us do our jobs as individuals, collectively we can have success.”

LIVE: Golden-goal soccer! Summit and Eagle Valley head to sudden-death overtime at Tiger Stadium…

Posted by Summit Daily News onThursday, May 20, 2021

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