Summit High Tiger soccer team heads to Kennedy for next playoff game |

Summit High Tiger soccer team heads to Kennedy for next playoff game

Summit's Julien Ekeholm takes a shot during the Tigers' 2-1 playoff win over Lewis-Palmer Wednesday night at Tiger Stadium. Summit will face John F. Kennedy High School Wednesday in Denver.
Sebastian Foltz / |

Coming off of a nerve-racking 2-1 opening playoff win against Lewis-Palmer last Tuesday, the 10th-seeded Tiger boys soccer team now has their sights on their next opponent, seventh-seeded John F. Kennedy High School out of Denver. The Tigers will travel down to the Front Range for a 3:30 p.m. round two matchup Tuesday at Kennedy.

“This week’s practices have been fantastic,” head coach Tommy Gogolen told the Daily Sunday. “We’re clicking.”

He said unlike last year when the Tigers were a dark-horse playoff contender entering the second round, this year his boys are more confident that they can match up against anyone.

“They don’t feel like the underdog,” he explained.

As to what they’ll face in Kennedy, Gogolen said he was largely unsure.

“They play a lot of Denver teams that I don’t know too much about,” he said, adding that he believes they play a possession-based offense, which he thinks his boys should match up well against.

“They really like to hold the ball,” he said. But if the Tigers play to their strength — namely a fast-paced offense and stout defense — they should play a close game, according to Gogolen.

It will take capitalizing on opportunities, however, something the Tigers have struggled with this season. In a number of games the team has substantially out-shot their opponent but come away with little to show for it.

Capitalizing on those scoring opportunities has been one of the areas of concentration at practice this week.

“We have been really focusing on finishing,” Gogolen said. “We’ve had plenty of chances,” he added regarding their previous struggles.

Even with their trouble ending drives, the Tigers — who ranked No. 6 in the state at the close of the season — have outscored opponents 45-12 on the year, including eight shutouts.

Kennedy will bring an impressive 8-0 home record to the table when the two teams meet on Tuesday. The Commanders are 14-2 on the season with both their losses coming in October. The Tigers ended the year 14-1-1 and haven’t lost since early September.

The winner of Tuesday’s game will face the winner of the matchup between The Classical Academy and Pueblo West High School. Classical Academy handed the Tigers their only loss on the season. If both Summit and Pueblo West come away with the win, it would mean a second home playoff game for the Tigers.

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