Steamboat Springs — Two things always seem to happen when the Steamboat Springs and Summit high school soccer teams meet in Steamboat.
- It always rains. Tuesday’s cold mid-game dousing made it three years in a row.
- It’s always dramatic. This year it was the Sailors getting a late goal from junior Cruz Archuleta en route to a 2-1 victory — a huge step for Steamboat in the Western Slope League race.
“This is actually a big win for us,” said senior Jack Salyer, who scored Steamboat’s first goal. “This is always a hard game to win and winning it will help us in the long run.”
The win was sweet for the Sailors, who tied Summit 2-2 at home a year ago and lost 3-0 on the road to the eventual league champs.
Salyer’s goal came early in the second half, breaking a scoreless tie. His teammates pushed the ball up the field — “a good play by all of us,” Salyer said — and he played a final pass into the far corner.
Summit kept things exciting with an answer 15 minutes later when Jackson Stone hammered a corner kick and Parker Shell headed into the net to tie the game.
“Our boys battled,” Summit coach Tommy Gogolen said. “Despite the loss, this is the best we’ve played.”
Summit is 0-4 after the loss but had several chances late to take the lead. Both teams missed on a few of those opportunities. Salyer was just off with shots twice before Archuleta came through with the game winner in the 69th minute, jumping and pumping his fist after the ball rolled in.
“Cruz had one of his work-hard-and-score-a-goal moments,” Salyer said. “He does that all the time.”
Indeed. The goal was Archuleta’s 10th of the season, giving him more in six games this season than any Sailor had in 16 a year ago.
Next up for the Sailors, 5-1, is a big, long break. They don’t play again until Sept. 24, when they’ll be home against Eagle Valley.
That one will be as important as Tuesday’s win was. Eagle Valley is currently tied with Steamboat, Glenwood Springs and Battle Mountain atop the league with one loss.
Feature Photo and Story written by Joel Reichenberger for the Steamboat Today. Find the story here.
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9