Tuesday’s tilt served as a tune-up of sorts for the Madras and Summit boys soccer teams, as the Storm (4-0) prevailed 1-0 on a late goal by junior midfielder Kamdon Simmons. It was the second consecutive game against a 6A opponent for the 4A White Buffaloes (3-1), who were coming off a 4-3 victory over Mountain View Sept. 4.
“When you’re playing a game like this, two classifications up from where we’re at, you have to get something out of it,” Madras coach Clark Jones said. “My feeling is that Summit got a good game out of this, and we did the same thing. It was very high level.”
Most of the game was played in the middle third of the field. Madras’s defense bent but did not break for almost 75 minutes, and Summit dominated possession by keeping consistent defensive pressure.
Summit coach Ron Kidder said defense is one of the core principles of his program, and he has seen his team develop in that and other categories.
“There’s moments where we’re playing really well. It’s just fragile offensively and defensively,” Kidder said. “To put it together for 80 minutes and play a complete game, that’s what we’re working on, and that’s what preseason is all about.”
Development has been the focus for both Summit and Madras in the preseason, according to their respective coaches. That was hampered by air quality concerns, Madras’s Jones said.
Jones added that, as far as intensity and level of play was concerned, the White Buffaloes treated their last two games — against Mountain View and Summit — as mock playoff games. Madras is aiming to return to the 4A state title game this season, where in 2016 it lost to Newport in a penalty shootout.
Summit is hoping to carry its recent success in 5A over to 6A, according to Kidder.
The Storm won the 5A state title in 2013 under Kidder’s tutelage, and he said the 2018 squad must create better scoring opportunities if it wants to remain competitive.
“It’s a bunch of talented individuals, so I know that we can play good, high quality, possession-oriented soccer,” Kidder said. “It’s just a matter of maximizing their potential.”
Simmons’ kick allowed the Storm to escape victorious on Tuesday.
He said Summit has a chance to keep its winning streak alive despite its youth.
“I think we’re going to be pretty good,” Simmons said. “We’ve got a pretty young team with only two seniors, so we’ll see how it goes. We’re undefeated so far, and we’ve just been balling out and scoring goals.”
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