NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Helen Johnson’s 17th-minute goal proved to be enough for the Hilltoppers, as Summit muscled its way past New Providence in the Lady Pioneers' girls soccer home opener.
Riddled with minor injuries that sidelined multiple New Providence starters, as well as eight players seeing major action for the first time in their careers, the home side was unable to overcome their inexperience and the miserable weather, failing to convert on any scoring chances they had throughout.
“Since preseason, we’ve been trying to figure out how to convert on those (scoring) chances,” head coach Scott Murphy said. “We need to get a little more active and physical up front and put more pressure on their defenders and make those defenders make decisions they don’t want to have to make.”
The pouring rain that came down throughout Thursday’s game made for rough conditions, as both sides had a difficult time adjusting to the slow field condition the monsoon caused.
Play throughout the first half, other than Johnson’s tally from just outside the 18-yard box, was more or less sloppy as neither team could get a rhythm going on the offensive end.
“As parts of the field got more and more flooded, we weren’t able to make short combo passes like we wanted to,” Murphy said on his game plan in the inclement weather. “Even though it’s not the way we like to play, we had to try and play the ball deep and create from there...Unfortunately for us, their goalie was very active and cleaned up everything that came her way.”
The trio of Maggie Roughley, Lexi Everton, and Riley Kinum were able to muster up a few decent chances on the Summit end when the deficit was only one, but they were ultimately unable to slip one past Hilltopper net minder Callie Humphrey, who recorded seven saves.
Kaleigh Brennan sent home the dagger in the 69th minute, slamming an un-savable shot past New Providence goalie Jen Maluso, all but ending the game.
The Lady Pioneers seek their first win of the season on Saturday when they take on Elizabeth with kick-off scheduled for 2 p.m.