Summit soccer sends off senior keeper Alvarado Lopez with 3-0 shutout win |

Summit soccer sends off senior keeper Alvarado Lopez with 3-0 shutout win

Tigers senior night is Thursday versus Glenwood Springs

The Summit High School varsity boys soccer team celebrates goalkeeper Jesus "Che Che" Alvarado Lopez (center) in the senior's final game Monday night at Rifle, a 3-0 victory for the Tigers.
Photo from Summit High soccer

On Monday night it was a bittersweet end to the career of one of Summit’s most beloved soccer seniors.

On his first day back from a COVID-19 quarantine, Jesus “Che Che” Alvarado Lopez informed Tigers head coach Tommy Gogolen pregame this would be his last game of the season due to a personal obligation this weekend. With that news, Gogolen decided to let Alvarado Lopez play the final 40 minutes of Monday’s 3-0 victory at Rifle.

When Alvarado Lopez entered the net, the Tigers already had a 2-0 lead and fellow senior keeper Wylam Mocatta had turned away three Rifle shots. But before the Tigers ran back out onto the pitch for the second half, Gogolen challenged them.

“The writing was on wall that ‘this is his last hurrah,’” Gogolen said. “I made a big deal of it with the boys at halftime to get Che Che a shutout.”

Alvarado Lopez carried the team in the second half, aided by standout back-line play from seniors Jake Bell and Jaden Smith. The keeper snagged five big saves against a hungry Rifle (0-9) team that wanted to finish well on its own senior night. Once the final whistle sounded and Alvarado Lopez had his clean sheet, the Tigers rushed the net and hugged Alvarado Lopez in an emotional moment for the side.

Summit (3-5) was propelled to the win in a composed yet urgent first half where Summit scored 18 minutes in. The goal came when Tigers senior Alex Casillas possessed the ball down the sideline and took on a Bears defender before crossing an assist to junior cousin Alan Casillas, who headed the ball into net.

Owen Gallo McMahon then made it 2-0 with five minutes left in the first half on an aggressive play. The sophomore took a defender on and launched a shot from 20 yards out. The ball tucked in over the Rifle goalkeeper for Gallo McMahon’s first goal of the season.

“Owen’s been knocking on the door, and we’ve been riding him a little bit as coaches knowing what his potential is,” Gogolen said. “Not that he’s playing bad, but he’s in a spot where he can be a distributor and also a scorer.”

Summit made it 3-0 early in the second half on a rebound goal from senior striker leader Andre Ayala following up junior Jose Casillas Escobar’s effort.

“He’s been playing well as of late, and he’s really hungry to put the ball in the back of the net,” Gogolen said.

Ayala and the Tigers will look for more goals at Thursday’s senior night final home game versus Glenwood Springs at 4 p.m.

“If we play our best soccer as a team we have a real good shot at pulling off a nice upset,” Gogolen said.

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