Summit soccer comes back to race past Eagle Valley 4-1, keep playoff hopes on pace |

Summit soccer comes back to race past Eagle Valley 4-1, keep playoff hopes on pace

Alan Casillas (16) and Harrison Rubis (24) sprint for the ball during the first half of the Summit boys varsity soccer team's home game versus Battle Mountain at Summit High in Breckenridge on Sept. 17.
Liz Copan / | Summit Daily News

BRECKENRIDGE — The Summit High School varsity boys soccer team once again showed guts Thursday evening. At home at Tiger Stadium, Summit redeemed an overtime road loss from earlier this season with a 4-1 comeback win.

“That one stung,” Summit head coach Tommy Gogolen said about the earlier loss, “so they had a little bit of revenge last night. Just for our boys to kind of respond positively, not hang their heads down — they’ve been doing this all year. It was good from my perspective to watch it again.”

The Tigers (5-6-1) fell behind early once again, relenting a penalty kick to the Devils (5-9) early on a freak play where a loose ball into the box careened off a Summit defender’s elbow. At this point, about 20 minutes into the game, Eagle Valley converted the freebie to take an early 1-0 lead. Despite the goal, Gogolen was confident in how Summit’s senior goalkeeper Chris Orozco made several dynamic saves early.

Orozco continued that effort through the remainder of the game and, on the other side, Summit’s offense found an equalizer just five minutes later. Summit’s fantastic freshman midfielder Owen Gallo beat two defenders through the middle of the field and unleashed a shot on Eagle Valley’s goalkeeper. After the goalkeeper’s stop, Summit center forward Maschelle Kepple followed up a rebound with a clinical finish to tie the game.

Summit boys soccer

“Owen is doing a good job of finding a lot of different people,” Gogolen said. “That’s something that’s fun to watch from my perspective. We all do a good job of sharing and being unselfish when we need to be, and our midfield, including Owen, are doing a good job of creating opportunities for our players.”

The Tigers tacked on two more goals before the half, the first coming on a one-timed finish from Alan Casillas on a cross into the box. Summit seized full momentum at half when Kepple corralled a loose ball out of a scrum about 30 yards out from Eagle Valley’s goal before lacing a shot from the top of the 18-yard box after beating Eagle Valley’s center back.

In the second half, Gogolen estimated Summit secured 80% of possession in the run of play while playing with the lead. The Tigers then put the exclamation point on the victory when Alan Casillas found his cousin Alex Casillas over the head of Eagle Valley’s back line. Alex Casillas then trapped the ball well before beating the keeper one-versus-one with patience.

With the win, the Tigers boosted their playoff hopes up to 29 in the state’s RPI rankings. The top 32 teams make the playoffs. With three games left, the Tigers are primed to make the state playoffs for the first time since 2015.

Summit will next play at home for senior night at 6 p.m. Tuesday evening versus Steamboat Springs at Tiger Stadium in Breckenridge.

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