Summit holds off Bears, 2-1
FARMER’S KORNER – Whether it’s the World Series or Colorado high school soccer, the postseason always seems to bring about unlikely heroes. Such was the case Wednesday at Tigers Field.By Devon O’NeilSummit CorrespondentFARMER’S KORNER – Whether it’s the World Series or Colorado high school soccer, the postseason always seems to bring about unlikely heroes. Such was the case Wednesday at Tigers Field.Powered by two goals from players who almost never sniff the back of the net, the 13th-seeded Summit High School boys soccer team won its opening 4A state playoff match at home Wednesday afternoon, 2-1, over No. 20 Rifle.Senior Andrew Quinonez buried Summit’s first score less than two minutes into the match, and junior Grant McGahey put the Tigers up 2-0 on a beautiful header in the 46th minute.It was Quinonez’s second goal of the year, and McGahey’s first.Asked if the scoring sources surprised him, SHS coach Peter Shafroth said, “Oh yeah.”The two goals stood up against the visiting Bears, who used a booming score from senior Adam Krick cut the lead in half in the 49th minute but couldn’t net the equalizer.Summit improved to 10-3-3 with the win and advances to face fourth-seeded Golden (13-1-1) on the road Saturday. The Demons beat Silver Creek 3-0 Wednesday and will try to avenge their only loss of the year, which came at Summit Sept. 23.Rifle finished up its playoff season at 9-5-2.For Quinonez, a senior halfback who usually tries to set up Summit’s wealth of offensive firepower instead of scoring himself, Wednesday’s chance was too good to pass up.Kevin Pelen headed the ball to Jonathon Valenzuela, who then headed it toward Quinonez. The senior Quinonez rifled a shot out of mid-air into the right side of the net.”I saw that ball coming at me and I said, ‘This is it,’ and I finished,” Quinonez said. “It felt really nice.”The Bears had a surprisingly easy chance to equalize in the 19th minute after a poor clear by Summit gave striker Sean Melody a point-blank look at an open net. But the senior couldn’t get enough on the shot, and Tigers fullback Victor Casillas got back for the save.After a rather ugly rest of the first half that included plenty of whistles and few solid chances for either team, McGahey put the Tigers up by two with his redirected header off a Chris Nowakiwsky free kick.Rifle coach Tom Taucher said the score was the result of failed communication from the bench to the field.”We actually called out to our guy to mark near post, but he went to the wrong post,” Taucher said. McGahey took advantage, burying the shot just inside the vacant post.Even though it was McGahey’s first goal of the year, Shafroth wasn’t surprised with how it happened.”Grant’s one of the smartest players on the team, and he was in the position he was supposed to be in,” said the sixth-year coach, who’s enjoying his best year since taking over at Summit. “It paid off for him.”Krick answered with a rocket that slipped through the hands of Tigers keeper Kylor Dossett after Kyle McElroy created some space inside the box. But it was all the Bears could muster against the stingy Summit defense, which bottled up the balanced Rifle offensive attack with precise markings and plenty of clutch clears.”Same old gameplan,” said SHS co-captain Aaron George, the defensive leader. Summit has yielded only 13 goals all year.Rifle keeper Derek Roberts was tested more than Dossett, but turned a number of Summit shots away. Most notable were two Nowakiwsky lasers that the keeper somehow turned away.”Derek played awesome,” said Taucher. “He probably deserves a better fate.”It was the end to another memorable season for Rifle, which loses nine seniors. Even for those who won’t be graduating, the reality stung.”You don’t want it to come to an end, it’s just a bummer that it has to finish like this,” said sweeper Stuart Stapleton, a junior who was, as usual, a wall on the Bears’ back line. “But that’s playoffs.””You don’t want it to come to an end, it’s just a bummer that it has to finish like this,” said sweeper Stuart Stapleton, a junior who was, as usual, a wall on the Bears’ back line. “But that’s playoffs.”
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Thanksgiving seems to be ever-present here in the Roaring Fork Valley. I’m not talking turkey and gravy, I’m speaking to the gifts we receive constantly, throughout the seasons.