Summit High soccer tops division rival Battle Mountain 2-1 at home
The Tiger boys soccer team stormed out of the gates early Tuesday on their way to a key 2-1 victory at home over Western Slope rival Battle Mountain.
“It’s a big win for the boys,” Tiger head coach Tommy Gogolen said after the game. “They’re always the team to beat in our league.”
The win pushes the Tigers to 4-1-1 on the season, 2-0-1 in-conference, and a game behind Steamboat Springs (3-0-1 in-conference) for first place in the Western Slope.
It was a commanding performance from the opening whistle with the Tigers keeping the ball in Husky territory for almost the entire first half.
“We were killing it,” senior Thomas DeBonville said. “The intensity was great.”
A loud student section contributed to the rivalry, getting behind the home team with each of a half dozen early scoring opportunities.
The Tigers first big shot came with 25 minutes remaining in the first half. Senior Alex Veleta was unable to capitalize on a one-on-one scoring chance with only the Huskies’ goalie to beat.
One of Battle Mountain’s only first half scoring chances came shortly after when a bobbled save by Summit goalie Noah Glasco left a loose ball in front of the Tiger net. Glasco recovered and dove on the ball before any Husky player could tap it in.
Summit’s first goal came with 15 minutes remaining in the first half. A well-placed DeBonville throw-in set up Veleta for the Tiger score.
“Alex was yelling at me to throw that in,” DeBonville said of his assist. “He made a great play.”
With 43 seconds left in the half the Huskies nearly scored an equalizer off of a set from a corner kick, but Summit’s defense stepped up to close the half.
Battle Mountain seized the momentum early in the second half, eventually capitalizing on back-to-back direct kicks near the Tiger goal.
“They continued to counter us and counter us,” Glasco said.
Following a save on the first free kick, Glasco accidentally crossed the 18-yard-line before punting. The illegal kick set up a second free kick inside the box.
“It was an unfortunate mistake on my part,” Glasco said.
Battle Mountain’s Logan Ruark scored the lone Husky goal off the free kick.
The score woke up a Tiger offense that came into the second half flat.
“Once they scored that goal we gained our composure back, calmed down and went at it,” DeBonville said.
With 13:30 left in the half, DeBonville looked like he may get the go-ahead score with a one-on-one chance against Battle Mountain goalie Jack Skidmore on a break. DeBonville’s shot went just right of the goal post.
“It hit off the top instead of the side of my foot,” he said of the miss.
With the Tigers looking more like they did in the first half, DeBonville capitalized on his second one-on-one break, scoring the go-ahead goal with just 5:20 remaining.
“I’d been trying to go back post all game,” he said of his late score, this time taking an extra step to set up his shot.
Battle Mountain nearly scored an equalizer with 3:09 remaining. A Husky cross past Glasco set up an open net, but a savvy Tiger defender kicked the ball out of bounds. The Tiger defense held strong on the ensuing corner kick, kicking the ball back into Husky territory.
“I was really on my heels,” Gogolen said of the game’s intense final minutes, “but our defense did a great job.”
The team will travel to Glenwood for their next in-conference Tuesday.
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