Summit Soccer edges Palmer High 2-1 in playoff opener
The Tiger boys soccer team opened its playoff run with a nail-biter, topping Lewis-Palmer High School 2-1 on a rainy Wednesday night in Farmer’s Korner.
“I was pretty nervous,” head coach Tommy Gogolen said of the game’s tense final minutes. “Our defense was solid. Our keeper showed up.”
From the opening whistle it looked like it would be Summit’s night. The team’s first scoring opportunity came just 15 seconds into the game. A few quick passes set Vicente Ramos up for the game’s opening shot.
The Tigers established a frenetic pace early on, keeping the ball in Lewis-Palmer’s half of the field for much of the first half, but they were unable to capitalize.
“The boys played fantastic soccer,” Gogolen said. “Some of the best soccer I’ve seen.”
After going into halftime tied 0-0, the Tigers came out strong to open the second.
Senior captain Thomas DeBonville put the ball past Rangers goalie Alex Hilton from roughly 20 yards out just 2 minutes into the second half for the game’s first score.
He followed that up just 2 minutes later with a beautifully arched shot from close to the 30 yard line.
“Unbelievable,” senior defender Mitchell Gray said of the shot. “I thought it was way over and it dropped right in.”
Fellow senior Alex Veleta looked like he might put the game away with a third goal with 16 minutes remaining. After a solid move on a Ranger defender, he took a strong shot from just outside the 18 that sailed just right of the goal.
With under 15 minutes remaining the Rangers began to play with a sense of urgency.
A Tiger foul just outside the 18 set up a Lewis-Palmer goal on a direct free kick by the Rangers’ Jackson Neal.
Then in the final 6 minutes Lewis-Palmer had two or three opportunities right in front of the Tiger goal.
“I was really nervous,” goalie Noah Glasco said after the game. “They kept attacking.”
A loose ball in front of the goal in the final minute and a half nearly led to the Ranger equalizer.
“It was a madhouse in there,” Gray said. “We just wanted it more.”
“Noah made an amazing save,” DeBonville added.
Summit was able to clear the ball to close the game.
They’ll face No. 7 seed Kennedy High School on the road in the next round, Tuesday, Oct. 28.
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