Summit Tigers eliminated in 1st round of playoffs in OT thriller

Summit High School Tigers sophomore Santiago Casco heads the ball away from a leaping defender during Summit’s homecoming match against Battle Mountain on Sept. 21 at Tiger Stadium in Breckenridge.
John Hanson/For the Summit Daily News

The Summit High School Tigers boys soccer team put up a fight Thursday, Oct. 28, against the D’Evelyn Jaguars. The Tigers came into the first round playoff game in Lakewood determined to continue their hot winning streak as the team closed out the regular season schedule with four straight victories.

From the opening kickoff, the playoff game atmosphere was present as D’Evelyn and Summit fans packed Lakewood Memorial Stadium to cheer on their respective teams.

“Mistakes were happening on both sides as both teams were nervous for their first playoff game,” coach Jotwan Daniels said. “It probably took both of us about 20 to 25 minutes to really get into the game.”

After figuring each other out in the early parts of the first half, D’Evelyn started to create some offensive opportunities, but Summit defended every advance. Junior Evan Reil and senior Collin Doran did their jobs at center back to keep the D’Evelyn forwards from creating scoring opportunities. The blackout defense from the Tigers resulted in zeros on the scoreboard going into halftime.

In the second half, the Jaguars upped the pace of their game and put the Tigers on their toes for the first time.

The Tigers had a few chances to advance the ball further into their offensive zone, but the Jaguars skillfully prevented any real close chances to develop.

“It was pretty difficult for us to create any opportunities. We had some shots from deep, but no real attempts on goal,” Daniels said.

Summit was on its toes for the majority of the second half and continued to prevent a goal from finding the back of the net in order to end regulation still knotted, 0-0.

It was in overtime that the Tigers really started to see some offensive opportunities. Senior midfielder Andrew Martin drove with the ball with one defender to stop him in his path. Martin sent a curving shot toward the goal, but it just missed, going over the goal and out of bounds.

After the close miss by the Tigers in overtime, the Jaguars set themselves up for a series of corner kicks in their offensive zone. The Tigers defended the first few successfully, but Jaguar sophomore Mario Castro was able to navigate his way through the exhausted Tigers defense and put the game-winner in the back of the net.

“It stinks to lose that way in overtime in the playoffs,” Daniels said. “Our boys were up for this game. We pushed D’Evelyn to the brink, but we just didn’t have lady luck on our side to get that win.”

The Tigers boy soccer team ended their season 8-7-1 overall and 2-5-1 in league play.

Many of the players had red eyes as they made their way back to Breckenridge on Thursday night, but Daniels said the Tigers had much to be proud of. This is the first time the Tigers have made the playoffs in seven years and the first time they have had a winning record in three years.

“We grew up this season,” Daniels said. “The team came to me as adolescents, and we walked off the field tonight as young men. The standard has been set. Now we have to build upon it. It’s a different day for Summit soccer.”

Coach Jotwan Daniels talks with his Summit players during a game against Battle Mountain on Sept. 21 at Tiger Stadium in Breckenridge.
John Hanson/For the Summit Daily News

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