Summit Tigers soccer gets revenge in rematch against Eagle Valley
Owen Gallo scores 2 goals, puts away game-winner
The Summit High School Tigers boys soccer team stepped off the bus Tuesday, Oct. 19, in Gypsum ready to put up a stand. After the Tigers lost in a shutout in the team’s first match against the Devils on Sept. 29, the Tigers wanted to show they had transformed since the first meeting.
The Tigers got off to a slow start, however, and allowed two goals to find the back of the net in the first half to give the Devils an early 2-0 lead.
“We had some lapses defensively that allowed for some easy opportunities to win the ball right in front of the goal and put them away,” Tigers head coach Jotwan Daniels said.
The Tigers didn’t allow those two early goals to shake them, and they scored two goals of their own, one from junior Fabian Cuevas and another from junior captain Owen Gallo.
“We made some simple defensive adjustments after the two goals to handle the pressure they were giving us,” Daniels said about the Tigers’ first-half turnaround.
With the score tied 2-2 after the first half, the Tigers took to the pitch for the last half of play imagining that the score was back to 0-0 under Daniels’ advice.
“The second half was a grind with lots of hustling to the point it almost felt like a playoff game,” Daniels said.
After 70 minutes of play, Summit midfielder Gallo broke through the tough defense of the Devils and put away a shot to put the Tigers up 3-2.
The second goal from Gallo electrified the rest of the team to play lights-out defense to keep the lead and get the win, defeating the Devils, 3-2, in their second meeting.
Gallo scored the goal that will be remembered from the Tigers road win over the Devils, but the win was a team effort.
According to Daniels, sophomore midfielder Santiago Casco made a huge impact for the Tigers as he worked to keep the ball in constant circulation among his Tigers teammates and protect the Devils attack from getting to the Tigers back four.
Senior Gannon Heisler also had a noteworthy performance for the Tigers, as he was able to feed Fabian Cuevas the ball and contribute for an assist. Heisler did work in the second half, as well, by providing the pressure necessary to prevent the Devils from putting a goal past junior goalie Trevor Hodges.
The win Tuesday night makes the Tigers 7-6-1 overall and gives them their first win in 4A Western Slope League play, making them 1-5-1. Summit will go into its last regular-season game — Thursday, Oct. 21, against league opponent Steamboat Springs — looking to continue its winning streak.
The Steamboat Sailors are 7-6-1 overall with a league record of 2-4-1 in 4A Western Slope League play. In their last meeting, the Tigers lost to the Sailors 2-1 in double overtime as the Sailors executed on a free kick.
“Our mindset going into the game is pretty simple: This entire year, we have been going one week, one game, one half at a time. Nothing changes in the final game of the season,” Daniels said. “Our eyes are set on Steamboat and proving like we proved to Eagle Valley that we are a different team than when they played us the first time.”
The Tigers will face off against the Sailors at 6 p.m., hoping to round out the regular season with another Western Slope League win and possibly seal a spot in the playoffs.
“We are playing our best soccer at the right time, right now,” Daniels said. “I think if we keep believing in the right mindset that we can hopefully keep this train going in order to keep making the community proud.”
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