Summit soccer blank Palisade, 4-0 |

Summit soccer blank Palisade, 4-0

Phil Lindeman

Summit vs. Palisade — Oct. 8

1st 2nd Final

Summit 3 1 4

Palisade 0 0 0

5’ — Summit No. 11 Zambrano

21’ — Summit No. 7 Martinez

74’ — Summit No. 9 Zuno

Summit needed this one.

On a pitch-perfect fall morning, the Tigers hosted the Bulldogs of Palisade (1-11 overall, 1-9 league) for a must-win soccer match with four games remaining in the regular season. The home team took care of business against the bottom-ranked visitors, scoring early and often in the first half before a quiet second half to finish the morning with a win, 4-0. Summit is now 7-4 overall and 5-3 in the 4A Western Slope.

For the first time since a rousing 4-2 win over Steamboat Springs on Sept. 22, the Tigers played confident and consistent ball for a full 80 minutes — well, mostly — with solid runs on the attack and stonewall stops on defense.

“We were working on a couple of things today as far as possession,” head coach Tommy Gogolen said as the JV team took to the field for warmup before their match. “The guys played solid, and the biggest thing for me was a zero on the board next to their (Bulldogs) name. We haven’t had a shutout in a while.”

Summit senior forward Salvador Zambrano got things started early with a goal in the fifth minute, followed in the 10th minute by another goal when Palisade scored on their own net. The Tigers front line then unleashed a barrage: 12 shots on goal to Palisade’s two, including four from senior Gerson Martinez, who’s something of a master at finding one-on-one matchups — even when the opposing defense knows they need to double up on him. He didn’t find the net until the 21st minute, giving his team a 3-0 lead before the pace and pitch slowed down.

It’s been something of a hallmark for this year’s Summit team: a wild and high-scoring first 20 minutes — sometimes for them, sometimes for the opponent — followed by a quiet second 20 minutes.

This time, the quiet stretch lasted nearly 35 minutes into the second half until Summit’s Alfonso Zuno had a header on a corner kick in the 74th minute. That put one more on the board, 4-0, for a comfy win.

Gogolen and crew ride the victory into a tough final stretch with steep implications. On Oct. 13 and Oct. 18, the Tigers face Eagle Valley and Steamboat Springs — two historically good teams — and they need lightning to strike twice: Summit is 2-0 against those teams this season for the first time in years, but both games will be away.

“We need to win all four,” Gogolen said. “That’s the goal. If we do that, we’re a shoe-in for the playoffs.”

The Tigers next host Glenwood Springs (6-6 overall, 4-5 league) on Oct. 11. Kick off is at 6 p.m.

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