Steamboat Springs freezes Summit Women’s Football team defense during spring snow squall to win, 4-2

Summit High School junior captain Kelley Duffy, left, struggles to keep the ball in play during a home game against Steamboat Springs on Tuesday, March 29. Summit ended up losing, 4-2.
Elaine Collins/Courtesy Photo

After a spring weekend full of sunshine and above-freezing temperatures, showers blanketed Summit County on Tuesday, March 29, just as the Summit High School women’s soccer team lined up to face the Steamboat Springs Sailors in the team’s third league game of the season. .

From the first kick-off, the two league rivals got off to a slow start, likely as they tried to warm up to the freezing weather and figure out the other team’s strategy for the freezing conditions.

About six minutes into the first half, Summit’s methodical play began to pay off in net as Joselin Roque and Gracelyn Garvert both recorded shots on net.

After several solid offensive possessions by the Tigers, the Sailors had their own series, bombarding Tigers goaltender Sarah Pappas with hard shots.

Then Steamboat Springs dominated the game for a good 10 minutes, with the majority of that time spent in the Sailors offensive zone. Eventually, the pressure from the Sailors was too much for the Tigers. The Sailors scored on a ball that ricocheted off several Tigers defenders before blasting its way past Pappas.

The goal took the Sailors 1-0 up with 23 minutes remaining in the first half.

The goal appeared to energize the Tigers as the team immediately responded by sending the ball downfield and placing several shots on net. However, none of the Tigers’ looks resulted in a goal.

Instead, the Sailors closed the half with the team’s second goal of the game to lead 2–0.

By the time the second half played, the entirety of Tiger Field was covered in snow. There was so much snow that Summit High School athletic director Travis Avery took to the field with several parents to shovel the sidelines and goalie boxes.

The snow slowed the pace of play and made it difficult for anyone to get a good foot on the ball.

“It changes everything,” head coach Jotwan Daniels said of the snow. “It’s not one of those things where one team has an advantage over the other. It actually neutralizes the game.”

Brina Babich throws the ball inbounds during a home game against Steamboat Springs on Tuesday, March 29. Summit ended up losing, 4-2.
Elaine Collins/Courtesy Photo

The snow didn’t completely slow the Tigers down though. Six minutes into the new 40-minute half, second-year forward Ella Synder managed to chase down a loose ball and drive it past the Sailors keeper to make it 2-1.

After some back and forth between the two teams, the Tigers leveled the score at 2-2 as junior midfielder Paola Arredondo flicked the ball past the Sailors keeper.

The Tigers had clawed their way back into the game, scoring back-to-back goals to start the half, but the Sailors had the last laugh in the game. Minutes later, the Sailors fired a shot over Pappas’ head to make it 3-2.

“Going down 2-0 in the first half and recovering two goals was an incredible effort, an incredible determination,” Daniels said. “That third goal – rocket, top shelf – that kind of broke our backs.”

Steamboat Springs ended Summits’ chance for a comeback and retired with the game when the team went 4-2 with 10 minutes left in the game.

As conditions on the pitch deteriorated rapidly, players often toppled over in the cold, wet snow. Steamboat Springs did a great job closing out the rest of the game until the game was mutually ended with two minutes remaining in the game due to dangerous field conditions and increased risk of injury.

Steamboat Springs defeated the Tigers, 4-2.

The Tigers’ loss puts the team 1-3 on aggregate and 0-3 in the league. The Tigers will prepare to play again on Friday, April 1, when the team host the Salida Spartans 1-0.

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