Summit girl’s soccer brings knife to a gunfight against Glenwood
Summit vs. Glenwood Springs
Score 1st 2nd Final
Summit 0 0 0
Glenwood 1 2 3
FRISCO — Aggression on the high school soccer field is a double-edged sword.
On one edge is intelligence, which gives a good team with control of their emotions an almost unstoppable momentum, like a snowball rolling downhill with purpose. And teeth.
On the other edge are flailing elbows, sloppy slide tackles, frustration and, when the parental peanut gallery gets involved, cries for a penalty or card or something — anything — just about every time they see contact. There’s a difference between intelligent aggression and plain old hooliganism, and sometimes spectators can’t see the difference.
Still, no matter the edge, aggression is a weapon the Summit girl’s soccer team (2-9-1 overall, 1-9-1 league) has learned to use well in the back half of a challenging season.
“We wanted to be physical today, and I think that leveled the playing field,” head coach Tommy Gogolen said. “I think the girls were playing sharper because they were into it, playing tough. Soccer is a physical sport. That’s how it should be.”
But, again like a sword, sometimes aggression just isn’t enough if the other team brings out the big guns. That was the case on a chilly Tuesday afternoon when Summit faced 4A Western Slope foes Glenwood Springs (5-8 overall, 4-7 league) for the second and final time this season. After a tough and physical 80 minutes — exactly what Gogolen wanted to see from his crew — the Tigers fell to the Demons, 0-3, with two of the three opposing goals coming in the final 15 minutes.
That’s been Glenwood’s M.O. most of the season: start slow, and then crank it to 11 in the second half. Since a 5-2 win against Grand Junction on April 9, the Demons have scored just one goal in the first half and seven goals in the second to go 1-3. When they can’t find the net in the first 40 minutes, they tend to lose.
And maybe that was the difference between useful and harmful aggression. Glenwood scored first on Tuesday before smart attacks from the Tigers midfield and defense shut down several breakaway drives. Possession in the first was split just about down this middle, even though the Tigers were playing shorthanded thanks to injuries, including go-to goal scorer Tanner McCann. At the half, it was 1-0 Glenwood — plenty of time for Summit to bring the game within reach.
But, as the second half wore on, weariness started to show, and the Summit line got sloppy with tackles and pushing from behind. Glenwood dominated possession (about 80/20) and shots on goal, with 16 shots to Summit’s seven.
Still, it took a free kick from 25 yards back in the 67th minute — this penalty after plenty of moaning from the Glenwood gallery — for the Demons to sneak a shot past keeper Lexi Vanderhoeven to make it 2-0.
Less than three minutes later, Glenwood found the net again on a breakaway, led by the Demons’ two big guns, forwards Eryn Peterson and Nina Scruton. They and their team attacked relentlessly in the final 10 minutes and almost scored another fluke goal with 30 seconds remaining, but Vanderhoeven punched the ball out and away to prevent a repeat of her team’s 0-4 loss to the Demons back on April 2.
“They play hard, and, eventually, they break down,” Gogolen said. “It’s hard playing defense for 70 minutes straight. It’s frustrating as a team, but I give them credit today. They battled, and the better team won.”
The Summit girls have three games remaining in the season and next face non-conference team Green Mountain at home on Thursday for a rescheduled match. The final home game is May 5 against Rifle (2-8-1 overall, 0-7-1 league) on Senior Night.
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