Summit High School boys soccer holds on for 3-2 win over Rifle
Martin’s return from injury helps Tigers to 2nd-straight win
The Summit High School varsity boys soccer team won their second consecutive game Saturday, April 3, with a 3-2 home victory over Rifle.
Tigers head coach Tommy Gogolen said Summit was blessed with extra momentum and energy coming off of the first win of the season over Steamboat Springs thanks to the sudden return of junior central midfielder Andrew Martin. Martin received a second opinion down in Denver on his groin injury that just days prior seemed like it may keep him out for the rest of the season.
“Andrew provided good leadership and he moved the ball around well,” Gogolen said. “He was a little rusty, but he had an impact on the game when he came off the bench.”
Thanks to the thumbs-up from the new doctor, Martin was back in the lineup. Still, Summit was down a few players, namely its two varsity goalkeepers Wylam Mocatta and Jesus “Che Che” Alvarado Lopez, after being quarantined because of COVID-19 contact tracing outside of the soccer team.
With junior-varsity call-up Trevor Hodges in net, Summit got out to an early 1-0 lead over the winless Rifle team. The lead came on a goal 15 minutes into the first half on a free kick from Lucas Sudduth from 24 yards out.
“Lucas stepped up and lofted a nice ball and caught the keeper off line,” Gogolen said.
The early lead for the Tigers came in a game where Gogolen estimated the Tigers controlled 80% of the possession. But soccer is a sport where you can make one mistake and the other team can capitalize and equalize fast. The Tigers experienced that in the 25th minute, with Rifle scoring on a defensive lapse that left an attacker one-on-one versus Hodges for a simple score inside the 18-yard box.
Playing with more urgency, Summit retook the lead 2-1 in the waning moments of the first half when Owen Gallo found Alex Casillas behind the Bears’ back line for a composed finish to the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
Gogolen said Saturday was a bounce-back game for sophomore attacking midfielder Gallo, who took over the game at times against Rifle. That included a goal of Gallo’s own assisted by senior captain midfielder Ivan Gutierrez in the second half.
“He caught the keeper flat-footed and tucked it in there to make it 3-1,” Gogolen said. “That lead was a nice cushion for us.”
Rifle crawled back to within 3-2 late with their second goal, one that made it interesting with just two minutes left in game. But Summit held on in a game where they outshot the Bears 12-4.
Reflecting on the game, Gogolen commended Hodges’ level of play in his first varsity action.
“He was tested and he didn’t flinch, didn’t back down from the challenge,” Gogolen said.
Summit’s record now stands at 2-4 ahead of their next scheduled game in the short, 10-game spring season. Their contest slated for 6 p.m Thursday, April 8, at Battle Mountain.
The Tigers will next play at home on senior night at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, versus Glenwood Springs.
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