Summit soccer closes regular season with May blizzard loss, 1-4 |

Summit soccer closes regular season with May blizzard loss, 1-4

Phil Lindeman
Summit's Gracy Karoly (12) chases the ball with a Glenwood Springs defender in hot pursuit during Senior Night on May 2 in the first snowstorm of the season. The Lady Tigers lost, 1-4.
Phil Lindeman / |

Summit vs. Glenwood Springs — May 2

1st 2nd Final

Summit 0 1 1

GSHS 3 1 4

FRISCO — What a Summit County way to end the home soccer schedule.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Summit High girls soccer team hosted Glenwood Springs for Senior Night in weather that went from spring to winter to who-knows-what and back again — all in 40 minutes of the second half. By my count the girls toughed it out through two snow squalls: the kind of May insanity that made the newest cleats useless on slip-and-slide turf and left everyone, Demons and Tigers alike, shivering and soaked as snow got wind-blasted to the backs of their heads.

If only the squalls had arrived before the second half. By then, Summit was down 0-3 to Glenwood, the No. 2 team in the 4A Western Slope behind Palisade. The Lady Tigers had been in this position before and barely lost, 2-3 on April 6 in Glenwood, but weather can always derail the best-laid game plan. Add the fact that this was the first snowstorm of the spring soccer season — seriously — and the home team was fighting an uphill battle. Luckily, the Demons were fighting with snow blowing sideways into their faces, and so that almost evened the playing field.

Almost. Summit started the second half playing fierce ball — the kind this team has played all season — and put together a string of chances as the snow gathered and grew. Juniors Tanner McCann and Piper Kunst led the charge, with midfielders Haleigh Lecklitner, Shannon Hogeman and Gisele Thompson feeding the ball to their forwards. It was the same confident passing the team brought to its 10-0 Rifle blowout on April, only this time in blizzard vision, like slow motion seen through snowy static.

After 15 minutes of attacking, the line official made a questionable foul call in Sumit territory and called a halt to the game. The officials met with team captains to talk about possibly ending the game with 25 minutes to go — “If it keeps up like this I can’t see to make the call,” the official told the head coaches — but the girls didn’t want to give up. They made the decision to finish it out in hoodies and long sleeves.

Less than two minutes later in the 57th minute, senior Sarah Sones bumped the ball to McCann on a breakaway and the junior streaked down the spectator sideline, passing by two sluggish Demon defenders. She took a mean left-foot strike and sunk the ball in the far corner — a beauty of a play in any weather, and something of a miracle in the thick of the storm.

And that was all Summit could muster. Senior defender Marin Pennell’s line held strong, but as the snow disappeared and Glenwood found its footing again, the team’s fast-as-lightning forwards pressured Summit and came away with another goal in the 68th minute. Summit lost, 1-4, and quickly headed inside to warm up and dry off. Everyone deserves it after a game like that — but you’d better believe they won’t forget that second half anytime soon.

Summit is now 3-10 overall and 3-8 in the 4A Slope with two games remaining. The girls next face Eagle Valley today (May 4) in Gypsum and close the season against Vail Mountain School in Vail tomorrow (May 5). Eagle Valley is at 6 p.m. and Vail Mountain is at 4 p.m.

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