Tired legs and souls: Tigers effort in second half fails to overcome deficit, loses 2-1 to Eagle Valley
The Summit girls soccer team had a busy week. The team has played three games in a five day span, with two of the games being against competitive league opponents with a playoff-like atmosphere.
Coming off an emotional double overtime loss to Battle Mountain on Thursday, April 28 the Tigers faced the 6-3-2 Eagle Valley Devils just 24 hours later on Friday, April 29 at Tiger Stadium in Breckenridge.
Head coach Jotwan Daniels knew his team was going to be tired both emotionally and physically from the night before, as well as rest of the busy week as a whole. Prior to the game Daniels said he would strategically put in substitutions throughout both halves to alleviate tired legs on the field.
Both teams got off to a slow start at the beginning of the game as each team worked to assess one another.
About 10 minutes into the first half the Tigers started to hit their stride with Joselin Roque, Ella Snyder and Kelley Duffy leading the the offensive core for the team.
Summit was able to get several chances for a goal early on, but it was Eagle Valley that put points on the board first as the team executed a strong offensive possession. The play ended in a ball being lofted over the head of Sarah Pappas in goal to take a 1-0 lead 16 minutes into the game.
Minutes later the Devils made the score 2-0 when a ball slipped through the legs of Pappas and into the back of the net.
Despite the two quick goals by the Devils, the Tigers kept their composure, which resulted in Paola Arredondo driving the ball to the net and firing a powerful shot. The shot didn’t find its way past the Devils goalie though, keeping the score at 2-0.
The Tigers continued to prowl in its offensive zone for an extended time but struggled to cut into the Devils two-goal lead.
The Tigers defense, led in large part by Brina Babich, also stepped up after the Devils took a two-goal lead. The defense worked tirelessly to prevent the Devils from moving the ball into its offensive zone and keep the ball in the possession of the Tigers.
At the end of the first half Eagle Valley led 2-0 with the Tigers still searching for a goal.
Daniels attributed the two early goals to the fatigue from a busy week and a hard-fought game 24 hours prior.
Out of halftime, Pappas was replaced in goal with junior Sydney Donovan, who played the rest of the contest.
Summit wasted no time getting back to business as seconds into the second half, Snyder and Arredondo connected on a ball that was inches away from the goal line, but the Devils fended off the effort.
The Tigers continued on the attack, with several players recording shots on goal including Duffy and Arredondo.
The pressure finally paid off for the Tigers as Ella Snyder scored on a missile sent from 20 yards away to bring the score to 2-1 and breathe life into the Tigers.
Summit continued to battle Eagle Valley, never once allowing a shot on goal from the Devils in the second half. The team was also very vocal while on the field helping to facilitate good offense.
“The defense is growing, they are growing together,” Daniels said. “They are starting to trust one another a little more, they are starting to get a little better at reading the ball out of the air.”
The Tigers spent the majority of the last ten minutes of the game on offense seeking a goal to tie the game. With seconds remaining the Tigers were able to come close to scoring, but the Devils cleared the ball from the zone to end game with a 2-1 score.
The loss moves the Tigers to 4-7 overall. They will once again play three games in five days next week to close out the season.
“It’s prom weekend, let’s have some fun, let’s make smart choices but let’s also recover because I expect them to give me the same effort they gave me this week,” Daniels said going into the weekend.
The Tigers will play two more times at home to close out the season. On Thursday, May 5 the team will host Glenwood Springs High School at 6 p.m. for senior night and on Saturday, May 7 the the team will host Palisade High School for its last regular season game.
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