No. 8 Summit tops No. 1 Bend behind back-line defense, keeper Capra Williams’ 5 saves
As the seconds ticked away on Summit’s 2-0 win over Bend High on Tuesday, the Storm bench became antsy. Players on the sideline ran in place, as if revving their engines, while the on-field Storm began hopping eagerly. When the clock struck zero, Summit players casually jogged toward each other to celebrate the Intermountain Conference girls soccer victory.
After a postgame huddle, though, the excitement was uncorked, as players leaped into each other’s arms and danced to the music blaring over the loudspeakers at Summit High.
“I think honestly, it’s just such a relief,” said Storm senior defender Quin Fraley. “We knew we could beat this team, and we needed to play our game. That’s the one thing we needed to do. We’ve been working on it for so long. I think we played today the way that we’ve been trying to play all season.”
With Fraley, Shea Campbell and Haley Tobiason monitoring the back line for Summit — and goalkeeper Capra Williams recording five saves in a fourth straight shutout — the Class 5A No. 8-ranked Storm were aggressive up front, constantly pressuring the Bend defense. Still, the No. 1 Lava Bears would not cave as keeper Cassidy Flammang and her help defense continued to turn away Summit’s attacks.
In the 27th minute, however, the Storm’s persistence paid off. Off a Bend turnover, Summit’s Maggi McElrath poked a pass to a streaking Gabbie Brocker, who sprinted past a pair of Lava Bears defenders to get free. Brocker then sent a slow-rolling shot past Flammang and into the right side of the net to give Summit (4-1 IMC, 7-2 overall) a 1-0 lead.
Late in the second half, the Lava Bears (3-2, 6-2-1) had two golden opportunities to pull even. Each time, though, they were stonewalled. In the 70th minute, Kylee Roath’s header off a high-arching pass sailed just left of the Summit goal, and five minutes later, a blast by Jordan Stoner was knocked away by Williams and cleared by the Storm defense.
“Bend’s super high-pressure,” said Summit coach Jamie Brock. “It was nearly man-to-man (coverage) that whole game. While those girls are strong, it’s like, ‘How long can your (defense) hold?’ They played amazing, to keep that composure under that much pressure all game long … they played amazing. A great game.”
Alexandra Walker provided some insurance for the Storm in the 76th minute, as she tore after a through ball from McElrath and beat the keeper to secure the Storm’s fourth straight win while snapping Bend’s two-game winning streak against Summit. Yet even with the Storm’s brief slide versus the Lava Bears, even with a matchup of two 5A top-10 teams, Fraley assured that Summit was not affected by the hype surrounding Tuesday’s match.
“The crosstown rivalry is definitely in the back of your head when you don’t want it to be,” Fraley said. “But if you just keep taking deep breaths and remind yourself that you’re just here to play soccer and have fun, you can accomplish what you want.”
Though Jenna Cornett usually splits time in goal for Bend, she was injured Tuesday. Flammang stepped in, however, and finished with six saves against a tenacious Storm attack.
“She’s a natural keeper,” Bend coach Gavin Meyers said. “And she’s a big part of our team and a huge leader for our team. We’ve had the fortune of having two really good keepers, and unfortunately one of them is injured tonight. So Cassidy stepped up and did awesome.
“We have a lot of things to build on. Our opportunities were there and our chances. And I think we’re really close to unlocking the secret and really unleashing.”
Williams, Summit’s keeper, finished with five saves to not only help the Storm post their sixth shutout of the season but also keep them in a first-place tie with Ridgeview atop the IMC standings with three conference matches remaining.
“These last few games that we’ve played, these girls have noticed where they can be and what their potential is,” Brock said. “This was kind of a testament to how hard they worked and how much they decided that we’re going to rise to our self-expectations and our program expectations.”
— Reporter: 541-383-0307, firstname.lastname@example.org