Tigers take second at prestigious Cheyenne Mountain tourney
COLORADO SPRINGS – Playing some of the top competition in the state, the Summit High School boys soccer team showed exactly why it belongs in that class this weekend, finishing second at the prestigious Cheyenne Mountain Tournament in Colorado Springs.The Tigers shut out Centaurus 4-0 on Friday behind a hat trick from senior scoring machine Kevin Pelen, then tied both Cheyenne Mountain and Mullen 1-1 on Saturday to finish unbeaten at 1-0-2.Although SHS coach Peter Shafroth praised his team’s play in all three games, he pointed at the first and third results as particularly good measuring sticks for the early season.The Tigers lost to Centaurus 5-2 in last year’s opener, and Mullen is ranked No. 2 in Colorado’s 4A class right now.”It was, to me, an outstanding tournament for us,” said Shafroth. “It let us know where we are and what our potential is. I think everybody felt very good knowing that we can stay with the top teams in the state.”In Friday afternoon’s season opener, senior forward Chris Nowakiwsky got Summit on the board with a breakaway goal he buried in the lower left corner. The Tigers led 1-0 until just after halftime, when Pelen scored the first of three beautiful second-half goals.”It was typical Kevin,” Shafroth said of the reigning 4A Jeffco Player of the Year.Senior goalie Kylor Dossett finished with eight saves as the Tigers outshot Centaurus 28-13. Jonathon Valenzuela had two assists, and co-captains Nowakiwsky and Aaron George each finished with one.Summit jumped on top of Cheyenne Mountain 1-0 in Saturday morning’s first game when Pelen settled a first-half cross from Valenzuela and buried it in the back of the net for his fourth goal in less than 20 hours. Then a stroke of bad luck hit the Tigers.A bouncing ball headed straight for Dossett hit a divot in the turf and bounced high over the keeper into the goal to tie the game. “It was gonna be a really easy save for Kylor,” said Shafroth. “I mean, it couldn’t have hit a worse spot on the field.”The Tigers outshot the tourney hosts 26-12, despite the 1-1 final score.The showdown with Mullen – which lost 2-1 to No. 1 Liberty on Friday – remained scoreless until 15 minutes into the second half. After Dossett made a spectacular save off a corner kick, a second shot ricocheted off one of Summit’s defenders into the goal.Not to be denied, Valenzuela tied the game with 10 minutes to go by dribbling the ball from midfield, through three defenders, and beating the goalie low. Dossett made three more “unreal” saves, according to Shafroth, to preserve the tie for the tired Tigers – many of whom played every minute of the three games, including both overtimes on Saturday.Shafroth said Mullen’s coach was “really surprised when we talked after the game. I don’t think he thought it was going to be much of a game.”In addition to the scorers, Summit seniors George and Victor Casillas anchored the defense all weekend, Shafroth said.Summit plays its home opener Wednesday at 6 p.m. against Denver Christian.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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