NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - With her team trailing by three goals with seven minutes remaining in the second half against Montclair Kimberley Academy, New Providence girls lacrosse coach Jennifer Henry called timeout.
"We just needed to regroup and regain our composure," said Henry. "We were having better luck with draws but still struggling with maintaining possession."
The breather did wonders for the Lady Pioneers, which rallied with a flurry of goals down the stretch to post a 15-13 decision over fifth-seeded MKA in the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1 tournament on Thursday afternoon at Lieder Field in New Providence.
With the victory, New Providence (13-6), the fourth seed, will now meet top-seeded Oak Knoll, ranked No. 3 in the state, in the sectional semifinal round on Monday, May 20 at Oak Knoll's Fields in Chatham.
New Providence had defeated MKA, 15-14, in overtime in a regular-season game also at home on April 10. In last season's sectional quarterfinals, New Providence outlasted MKA, 14-13, in double overtime.
"Thankfully, it wasn't overtime again," stated Henry. "They're a great team and we know they improved since we last played them. But I feel we did as well."
New Providence knotted the score, 13-13, when Reagan Wawzycki found the back of the net with 3:57 remaining.
Kaitlyn Cumiskey then put the Lady Pioneers up for good when she scored just 50 seconds later. Cumiskey then struck again with 2:15 left for the game's final goal.
Cumiskey finished the day with a game-high seven goals and two assists with Wawzycki (five goals) and Sadie Miller (three goals, two assists) also registering. Claudia Vitale recorded six saves in goal.
MKA (15-5), which led, 7-5, at the half, received four goals each from Taylor Everson and Patricia Columbia-Walsh.
Cumiskey, a junior, is one of the top offensive threats in the state. She now has 109 goals and 43 assists this season and 298 goals and 80 assists for her career.
"Kaitlyn is such a great player and a great girl," said Henry. "She has scored a lot, but she's smart with the ball and doesn't take frivolous shots."
Two days ago, New Providence made the trek down south to play at No. 7 Haddonfield, and while the result was a 20-6 defeat, the endeavor paid dividends.
"It was great to be able to play a team of that caliber and gain valuable experience," said Henry. "We learned a lot and will look to keep playing teams like that."
New Providence will now meet Oak Knoll for the second time this month. Oak Knoll earned a 15-5 victory in the Union County Tournament semifinal round on May 1 at Johnson High in Clark.
"They're such a strong team with a very extensive bench," said Henry. "We'll look at that game as a chance to make us stronger and continue to improve as a program."