Tigers soccer loses homecoming match to Eagle Valley, 4-0
Summit vs. Eagle Valley
Score 1st 2nd Final
Summit 0 0 0
EV 3 1 0
FRISCO — The first rivalry game of Summit High’s homecoming week didn’t quite go how the home soccer team had planned. Pinpoint shooting from Eagle Valley (9-2) was the name of the game, with unassisted corner kicks and 35-yard bullets leading to a 0-4 loss for the Tigers varsity squad (1-4) on Tuesday night.
In terms of size and speed, both teams were equally matched in their first game of the season. But Eagle Valley proved why it is “the best” Devils team that Summit coach Tommy Gogolen has seen in his tenure. The Devils dominated possession from start to finish, with confident passing in the midfield and more than a dozen undefended shots from just outside the Tigers goal box. The Devils had 22 shots on goal compared to 12 from Summit.
Of the Devils shots, nearly half came from outside the goal box. Unstoppable EV forward Aaron Ledezma recorded two goals off a whopping seven shots, including a nasty, Premier League-style unassisted corner kick late in the first half.
“They played fantastic,” Gogolen said. “It’s the best Eagle Valley team I’ve seen. When they had possession, they pulled the trigger. They’re dangerous from 30 to 35 yards out, and we saw that.”
Along with the corner kick, Ledezma also had a 35-yard shot to the upper corner for the only goal of the second half. Summit seemed to find a rhythm on offense after the 3-0 first half, with senior forward Omar Espinoza and his midfield set-up man, Jackson Stone, putting together a string of two-man runs down the sideline. Thankfully, the Tigers weren’t plagued by offsides penalties — the biggest momentum killer in past matches.
No, they held the line, but their shooting was off by just enough. Early in the second, Espinoza had a Ledezma-esque bullet on a penalty kick that was barely knocked away by the EV keeper, followed closely with another bullet off the ricochet from senior all-around man, Wil Laidlaw. This one cleared the crossbar by inches.
“Carpe diem, boys!” a parent yelled from the jam-packed stands, where about 100 students and parents huddled against the homecoming season chill. “Get fired up!”
The Tigers tried, but the Devils were too confident and too aggressive for Summit to find any breathing room. EV had better passing, handling and 50-50 ball takes in the mid-field. Gogolen knows his team needs to work on all three, along with better, quicker transitions from defense to offense.
And the Tigers spent plenty of time on defense. Eagle Valley dominated possession — just look at the SOG totals — but Summit’s sophomore keeper, Kyle Wertz, kept the game from getting truly ugly. He blocked at least three additional would-be goals from Ledezma, beautifully protecting the upper half of the net from dangerous, knuckle-balling shots.
“The game could’ve really gotten out of hand if he wasn’t right there behind us,” Gogolen said.
Homecoming week continues at Summit, with Tigers volleyball (4-5 overall, 2-3 league) taking on a tough Steamboat Springs squad (10-2 overall, 3-1 league) at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. Varsity football (1-3 overall, 0-1 league) has a chance to redeem the soccer team when it plays Eagle Valley (3-1 overall, 0-1 league) at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
The next Tigers soccer game is an away game at Glenwood Springs (4-3 overall, 3-2 league) on Saturday at noon.
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