SUMMIT, NJ - If this was a game of "21" or "Blackjack," it would not been a straight 'Ace plus Face' card route to the unbeatable number.
No, the Summit High School Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team's route to a rout over New Providence in the Union County Tournament semifinals at AL Johnson High School was more like one of those nutty hands where the player gets dealt an Ace, then a 2, another Ace, the second two and, finally, a five.
In the end, it doesn't matter how one gets there -- as long as they get there.
And, after a 21-7 Maroon and White thrashing of a game, but ultimately overmatched, Pioneer squad, 'there' is the County Final and yet another 'Summit Derby' tilt with in-town neighbors Oak Knoll. The Royals, who beat Summit in overtime to claim last year's title -- and snap Summit's run of eight-straight County crowns in the process -- sealed their invite to the championship game by eeking out a 11-10 win over Westfield in the other semifinal.
Junior Julia Szynal scored five times and wore two different uniform numbers in a game that saw here take a whack to the face which bloodied her nose and uniform, necessitating the switch. Senior attack Ava Spotts potted four goals, classmate and captain Helen Louise Johnson had a Hat Trick, and sophomore Bridget Moriarty found the back of the net twice.
Senior Megan Abate and freshman Skye Gilbert each scored their first-ever Varsity goals in the win, while senior Emily Paytas, juniors Kelsey Space and Katia Carnevale and freshman Rileigh Meyer all had one tally. Senior captain Amy Martino made six saves in goal, and sophomore Sarah McGhee also added a save in relief of Martino.
Katilyn Cumiskey had a big night for New Providence, scoring five of the Pioneers' seven goals.
The girls from the 07901 were on -- at one point -- a near 30-goal pace halfway through a first half that saw 18 goals scored, 13 by Summit. Play was a bit ragged, with some erratic ball handling and mental mistakes pockmarking the action, something the Hilltoppers will have clean up if they are to exact revenge on the Royals in the tournament final.
Summit will face Oak Knoll for the Union County Championship at AL Johnson High School on May 5. Game time is set for 5 p.m.
AL Johnson High School is located at 365 Westfield Boulevard in Clark.