Injury-riddled Tigers drop first home match
FARMER’S KORNER – For the better part of the season the Summit High School boys soccer team has been able to find success despite not finishing on a majority of its scoring chances.The Tigers’ luck ran out on Wednesday.On a cold and wet evening at Tiger Stadium, visiting Evergreen did everything right that No. 10-ranked Summit did wrong and beat the Tigers 2-0 to hand them their first 4A Jeffco League loss of the season. It was also Summit’s first home defeat of the year.”I knew at some time it was going to come back and bite us,” SHS coach Peter Shafroth said of the missed scoring opportunities, a point he’s stressed to his team repeatedly. “Tonight it did.”Evergreen (6-3-1 overall, 4-1 Jeffco) took over second place in the league with its fifth consecutive win, while Summit (5-2-3, 3-1) dropped to third. The Tigers have a chance to rebound, though, when they play undefeated Golden on Monday in a match that was postponed last week because of snow. Golden leads the league, sporting a 9-0 overall record.
Asked if he considered the Monday matchup with the Demons a do or die situation, SHS senior goalie Kylor Dossett said, “Definitely.”To beat Golden the Tigers will have to play better than they did on Wednesday. Despite missing injured starters Jonathon Valenzuela (ankle) and Tyler Brooks (hip), and having stalwart fullback Victor Casillas play with a cast on his hand to protect a broken metacarpal, it was Summit’s inability to find a rhythm on the field that doomed its chances.”We played horrible, there’s no team play right now,” said junior fullback Taggert Spenst. “(Evergreen) moved the ball really well. They played exactly like we need to.”Cougars senior Chris Camp opened the scoring in the 18th minute, and Ry Hawley added a late goal in the second half off a failed clear by Summit’s defense. Evergreen also seemed to handle the slippery field conditions better than its hosts, though both teams’ players fell plenty.While the Cougars executed a two-touch passing game to perfection, the Tigers struggled to find space on offense and continually misfired with low-percentage shots.
Summit’s normally high-octane attack created fewer chances than usual, which didn’t help the frustrations.”That hurt us,” said senior co-captain Chris Nowakiwsky. “You’ve got to make use of your chances.”Summit managed five shots on goal out of eight total shots in the first half, but didn’t force Evergreen keeper Evan Hassinger to make a single save in the final 40 minutes despite shooting six times.Many of the Tigers’ shots were taken from long range and sailed high over the crossbar.”We’re forcing shots that we don’t need to force right now,” said Shafroth.
One of Summit’s only legitimate second-half scoring chances came when Nowakiwsky was taken down inside the box, but instead of giving him a penalty kick the referee made the free kick indirect.”That should’ve been a PK,” Nowakiwsky said.Despite the loss, Shafroth isn’t panicking. “I think they can definitely rebound,” he said, “but they’ve got to change the way they’re playing. There needs to be more team ball.”Monday’s marquee matchup with Golden starts at 6 p.m.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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