GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A bounce that went the way of the Summit High School boys soccer team wound up being the big difference for the Tigers against the Glenwood Springs Demons on Thursday night.
A long free kick toward the Glenwood goal from Summit’s Max Ortiz wound up resulting in an own goal against the Demons, and Thomas DeBonville added a second goal in the 65th minute to help the Tigers prevail 2-0 at Stubler Memorial Field in the Class 4A Western Slope League opener for both teams.
“Own goals happen,” said Summit assistant coach Travis Avery, who assumed the head coaching duties for an absent Tommy Gogolen. “But in coach speak, those are things that balance themselves out over the course of the season.”
Glenwood (0-1-0 overall and league play) began to balance things out against Summit by the end of the first half with late the scoring opportunities it created. The Tigers (1-1-0, 1-0-0 league) held off the Demons’ late push, however, and got three of goalkeeper Noah Glasco’s four saves in the final 10 minutes.
“I thought we played well,” Glenwood coach Steve White said. “These guys are young, and they’re learning. There’s some things we need to adjust now, but I liked what I saw.”
The Demons saw a lot of the Tigers’ offensive attack early on. Summit had nine shot attempts to Glenwood’s three in the first half — finishing with a 17-7 shot-attempt advantage by the end of the match — and they won plenty of one-on-one balls to consistently keep pressure on the Demons’ back line.
“They were able to gain more control of the ball than we could,” said Glenwood goalie Shane Pittenger, whose four saves came on diving stops. “A game like this gave us a chance to look at what we did wrong, take our mistakes and learn from them.”
Summit got on the board on Ortiz’s free kick from 30 yards away. The Summit senior lofted the ball toward the net to Glenwood senior Ben Dunn, whose header went off the back of his head and past Pittenger into the net in the 43rd minute.
“That’s just a matter of communication on the field, and we’re learning that,” White said. “All we needed there was a voice, and that was the difference between a goal being scored and a goal not being scored.”
After Glenwood junior midfielder Elias Vasquez made a non-goalie save off a shot from Summit, the Demons transitioned well on offense and nearly knotted the score when Daniel Garces’ right-footer from 15 yards went just over the net. But the Tigers quickly got back on offense, and DeBonville raced up the right sideline and shot it past Pittenger for a 2-0 Summit lead in the 65th minute.
“Our goal,” Avery said, “is for [DeBonville] to create a lot more problems for people.”
The Demons made one last push, but a header shot from Vasquez in the 77th minute was saved by Glasco.
Glenwood continues league play next Tuesday when the Demons host Eagle Valley.