Summit High girls soccer loses season-opener 2-0 at Eagle Valley

Tigers return to pitch Saturday at Palisade

The Summit High School girls soccer team practices at the high school in Breckenridge on Wednesday, May 5.
Photo by Joel Wexler / Rocky Mountain.Photography

Eagle Valley goals in the 25th and 60th minutes led to a 2-0 loss for the Summit High School varsity girls soccer team in the Tigers’ season-opening game Thursday night in Gypsum.

Tigers head coach Jotwan Daniels said Summit settled in after experiencing some early first-game butterflies. In the first half, Daniels said the team struggled to remain compact with its defensive shape and was limited in its offensive opportunities in the attacking third.

“We weren’t dangerous with the ball in that final third in the first half,” Daniels said. “We dealt a lot with their pace; they had a lot of pace up top. We spent a lot of time in the first half running toward our goal because they would send a big ball over the top that would beat us.”

Daniels said that after halftime, trailing 1-0, Summit rebounded to maintain the lion’s share of the possession in the second half. The Tigers outshot the Devils and had a few great opportunities to score, namely a shot to the opposite upper-90 of the Devils goal by Ellie Sudduth that forced a diving, full-body save from the Eagle Valley keeper.

“We were unfortunate to not score on that opportunity,” Daniels said. “I thought that was for sure a goal.”

Daniels also said that in the second half Paola Arredondo and Joselin Roque provided more pressure and defensive intensity in the Tigers’ attacking third of the pitch. The aggression from Arredondo and Roque helped Summit quickly regain possession several times.

“We could feel that (Eagle Valley wasn’t) ready for that level of intensity in the second half,” Daniels said. “They wanted to keep it as close to our goal as possible. Paola and Joselin were instrumental in defending with intensity, and that’s when we started to make their goalkeeper work.”

Daniels said Tigers junior Sarah Pappas, a newcomer to the sport, played well starting as goalkeeper for Summit. Daniels said her seven saves were huge to keep the Tigers in it.

Daniels also highlighted the leadership of captains senior Camille Thompson and sophomore Katie Clapp. The coach said Kelley Duff played great in the midfield, and Brina Babich was solid in her first game as a holding midfielder. Daniels also credited Abby Wineland and Maclean Donovan for their contributions.

The Tigers will travel to Grand Junction to play Palisade at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 8. Daniels said Summit will need to move better and more together as a defensive unit to improve its record to 1-1.

“And I think we can now start becoming more selfish on goal in our final attacking third,” Daniels said. “We need someone to step up and say, ‘I’m going to be the one to put it in.’ But we’ve definitely got the heart and attitude. I’m definitely impressed with this young team.”

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