Summit Tiger soccer tops rival Battle Mountain to close with 11th straight win
The Summit High School boys soccer team ended its regular season in style Wednesday, with a 1-0 win over perennial Western Slope League champ Battle Mountain on the Huskies’ home turf in Edwards on senior night.
“It was awesome,” head coach Tommy Gogolen said after the game. “Our defense was phenomenal. The back line was so solid. It’s some of the best the boys have played in a couple weeks.”
The win was Summit’s 11th in a row since tying Steamboat Springs Sept. 9. The Tigers closed the season 13-1-1, and were undefeated in in-conference play, 11-0-1.
“The whole game was pretty nerve-racking,” senior defender Gabe Sandoval told the Daily. “They had the pressure on.”
For 76 minutes the teams played to a 0-0 tie with Battle Mountain coming out on top on scoring opportunities. But the Tiger defense and goalie Noah Glasco held strong.
Sandoval commended his goalie’s efforts on a couple of big saves.
The Tigers’ go-ahead goal came with just 4 minutes remaining in regulation. A foul on Summit senior Alex Veleta, just outside the Huskies’ 18, set up a direct kick for the junior Julien Ekeholm, who put a well-placed arching shot into the back of the net.
“He just buried a fantastic shot,” Gogolen said after the game.
The shutout was Summit’s eighth of the season and contributed to a new Tiger record for least number of goals allowed in a season. In all, the team outscored its opponents 45-9 on the year, leading Summit to a No. 6 ranking in the state. The Tigers’ only defeat came in a 3-1 loss to No. 2 ranked Classical Academy back in the third week of the season.
“I’m really proud to wrap up the league undefeated,” Gogolen said. “I couldn’t be happier. It’s probably the best year in Summit history.”
Wednesday night’s win came without the Tigers’ leading scorer, Thomas DeBonville, who missed the game with an ankle injury. Gogolen said DeBonville should be ready to go for the playoffs.
With the season wrapped, it’s hurry up and wait for the Tigers this week as playoff seeding won’t be announced by the Colorado High School Activities Association until Sunday. The association’s seeding committee will take state ranking into consideration, along with other factors. The Tigers appear likely to be chosen for at least one home playoff game and potentially two. The first-round game should be scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 22.
At 9-5-1 overall, Battle Mountain might still receive an at-large playoff bid.
“They played great, they really did,” Gogolen said of the two meetings with his team’s conference rival. “If I had a vote I would vote for Battle Mountain. They deserve to be in playoff contention.”
That said, neither Gogolen nor Sandoval had any desire to face the Huskies for a third time.
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