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Lobos soccer drops Summit game after long battle

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The Lobos took the Tigers to double overtime

By Alissa Noe

 

Throughout the soccer match at Conifer High School on Thursday, the Lobos showed true grit against their Summit High School competition, but it wasn’t enough to get the job done as they fell to the Tigers, 2-1, in a sudden-death double overtime.

“Our team composure was phenomenal,” head coach Jason Woolridge said. “We dominated, we did all the right things but one bad move cost us. That’s all I can say. It’s tough. We’ve had two overtime losses this week, and it’s tough to deal with. For the boys, dealing with that on Tuesday night and then coming all the way back, being able to fight all the way to the end again, it just shows that they have what it takes to be a winning team, especially in the heart. They’ve got that.”

Throughout the first half, the Tigers dominated on the possession end, but thanks to stellar goalkeeping from senior Bowen Taylor, they couldn’t gain much traction as the half ended with a 0-0 draw.

All night, the Tigers beat on Taylor as he sustained hit after hit in the penalty area, including one that took him out of the competition for a sustained period of time.

“I saw the shot coming through, and it was a bouncing ball — pretty simple. I went in for the smother, and it bounced off my hands, something that happens to all the keepers all the time, so I got up pretty quickly to recover it. I didn’t really see what else happened except for a player came through me. I don’t know where the ball went; all I know is I was up and the player was on top of me. I was on the ground, and then everyone was over me. The player came through my chest, and I hit my head on the ground. It was just a lot of force on me.”

After that, the coaches decided to pull him from the game to undergo concussion protocol and, after passing the tests, he came back in to finish up the action.

Twelve minutes into the second half, the pace of the game started picking up as Summit’s senior Cash Koning snuck the ball past Taylor for the first score of the game. But the game was far from over, as 15 minutes later Conifer’s junior Nick Putz retaliated with a goal of his own.

Down the stretch of regulation, each team had plenty of opportunities to put its competitor away, but failed to make any offensive strides before the clock struck zero for the first time.

Enter overtime.

During the first OT, Conifer pressured Summit on offense fairly consistently, but thanks to some grade-A keeping on the Tigers’ side, the Lobos couldn’t get anything in the net.

“We had our opportunities but I’ll be honest with you; Summit’s keeper kept them in the game with two world-class saves,” Woolridge said. “What do you do? That makes all the difference, but we have to make sure that we continue to take those chances and finish.”

With 6:09 left in the second overtime, Summit’s Ismael Valenzuela took a ball from a corner kick and headed it into the net, past Taylor’s defenses. The final score was 2-1 in Summit’s favor.

No matter what the outcome on Thursday, the Lobos, now 0-3, are still proud of their overall effort and cohesiveness on the field, something that will carry them as the rest of the season wears on.

“It shows that we’re working not only for victory but willing to work for each other so that we each can experience the victory as a team,” Taylor said. “It’s not about whether or not we play well individually; it’s about how we do as a team and as a unit. We fought for each other tonight even though we lost.”