Summit High School boys soccer loses 2-0 at home to Eagle Valley
After the junior varsity team shoveled off the remaining snow that lingered on the Tiger Stadium pitch, the Summit High School Tigers kept it tied 0-0 at half before losing 2-0 to Eagle Valley on Saturday, March 27.
Tigers head coach Tommy Gogolen felt the team’s intensity was good in the first 20 minutes of back-and-forth action. Though midfielder captain Andrew Martin remained out with a serious groin injury, forward Alex Sanchez returned and battled through the pain of a lingering ankle injury to be part of a Tigers side that dominated the final 20 minutes of the first half but couldn’t find the back of the net.
“We were really moving the ball around well,” Gogolen said. “We did a lot of good things, what we’ve been working on.”
Tigers senior forward Andre Ayala said the Tigers did well in that first half to play “simple” and not force through-balls that weren’t there.
But the second half was a different story for Summit. Just five minutes into the period, a Devils player turned the corner on a Tigers player down the end line and crossed a ball that deflected off a Summit player for an own-goal and 1-0 Eagle Valley lead. Then, just a few moments later, Eagle Valley midfielder Dennilson Sandoval beat Tigers keeper Wylam Mocatta for the eventual 2-0 final score.
“The last 20 minutes of the first half we were playing really good soccer, but I feel like every game we play well in the first half, we crash in the second half,” Ayala said. “I don’t know if it’s lack of fitness or lack of mentality, but we always crash down.”
Gogolen did not criticize Mocatta for either goal, as he said both the own-goal and Sandoval’s shots were “pretty unsaveable.” Mocatta played all 80 minutes Saturday after Jesus “Che Che” Alvarado Lopez wasn’t able to play Saturday after not being able to make it to practice Friday.
“Wylam did well back there between the posts,” Mocatta said.
In front of Mocatta, Gogolen said the Tigers back line was again anchored by center backs Lucas Sudduth and Collin Doran. The coach said the back line provided “glimpses” of solid play as Doran and Sudduth dictated and controlled things.
Along with those two center backs, the Tigers filtered in several players down the flanks with Evan Jones being the standout down the left wing. Gogolen said Jose “Pepe” Casillas Escobar also did well on the back line.
In the midfield, the Tigers had to contend with Eagle Valley’s strategy of playing quick and direct from the middle third of the pitch to the attacking third. Without Martin in the midfield, Gogolen felt captain holding midfielder Ivan Guiterrez played well despite having to be comfortable playing with different teammates in different roles. The coach said Guiterrez, Alex Casillas, Alan Casillas, Owen Gallo, Fabi Cuevas and other Tigers offensive players battled, but they still were a bit too careless with the ball at times and not creative enough to find the back of the net.
“We have to make good runs and move the ball on frame more often,” Gogolen said. “We can pass the ball around all day long out there, but if we can’t make good decisions and be dangerous attacking, it will be tough to break through.”
As for offensive creativity Saturday, Gogolen said first-year Tiger senior and Senegal native Thierno Ly came close to finding pockets, as did Ayala and Alan Casillas.
“We have to think outside the box,” Gogolen said. “It’s not just at the feet, there could be diagonal ball through the back line, a give-and-go or an overlap run.”
Ayala said the team has suffered a devastating loss without Martin in the lineup, as the Tigers record now stands at 0-4 ahead of the road trip to Steamboat Springs at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 31.
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