SUMMIT, NJ - A chance at playing for a sectional title was shut down by Oak Knoll, getting doubled up by a score of 18-9 by the No. 2 ranked team in the state, according to New Jersey Advanced Media.
The two sides met in the Union County Tournament semifinals, where New Providence was clobbered 15-4 to the eventual champion.
Despite all of this, New Providence head coach Jennifer Henry still wanted to keep an optimistic mentality amongst her team, even with the tall task at hand.
“We wanted to come into the game being as positive as possible knowing that it would be a very difficult game,” said Henry. “We’ve grown a lot since the last time we played them and I think we showed them that we got a lot better.”
At first, tonight was bit of a different story, especially early on in the game, as the Lady Pioneers played the Royals tough on a rainy day, trailing only 6-3 early on, making the most of their offensive possessions.
“That was the key for us, being able to win the face-off and controlling possession,” said Henry on the importance of keeping Oak Knoll from having possession. “Sometimes though no matter how hard you try on the draw good teams like this will find a way and at that point we have to do the best we can defensively.”
Freshman Kaitlyn Cumiskey and junior Iris Kaloshi fronted the goals for NP, both scoring a pair of tallies apiece in the first half effort for the visitors.
The early three goal deficit was unfortunately as close as it would get for New Providence as the firepower of Oak Knoll was too much for the Lady Pioneers to handle, as the lead for the Royals grew to double digits at the half, leading 14-4 at the half.
New Providence was able to outscore Oak Knoll in the final 25 minutes, putting in five goals to the home team’s four, but that was not enough to advance to the sectional final this season.
Cumiskey finished with a team high four goals on the game, and senior Sam Scott finished with a hat trick for New Providence.
Even though a chance at a title is now officially out of reach, the season still has one more game before its conclusion, when New Providence gets to travel to Berkeley Heights to take on arch-rival Governor Livingston, seeking to end the season on a high note.
“It’s unusual to have another game after states but we should have no trouble getting excited for GL,” said Henry. “There’s no other team we’d rather be playing after a loss like this and all of the girls are ready to play and end their season with a very strong performance.”
That game, the final game for both sides, will take place Tuesday night at Snyder Avenue Field in Berkeley Heights with opening face-off scheduled for 7 p.m.