MENDHAM, NJ – Summit wasn’t going to let the grey clouds and steady drizzle put a damper on their season opener.
Sure, the start to the season was a bit sloppy, but that was simply a team with a slew of fresh faces getting comfortable.
“It’s just a new year, everyone’s nervous for the first game,” senior Austin Carbone said. “It’s hard to come out and play really for the first time against another team in a real game, where I guess it’s going to sloppy, we’re going to be throwing the ball away a little bit, so that was just getting the nerves up.”
Mendham took advantage scoring the first goal of the game. However, Summit would answer two minutes later to knot the game up before taking a 2-1 lead late in the first quarter and never looking back.
“First game jitters I think at the beginning,” Jim Davidson said. “You know we have a lot of young guys in there so we were kind of a little sloppy at the beginning, but I think we gained our composure, settled in offensively, Did some nice things”
And just as the sun began peeking out in the third quarter, so did Summit’s offense.
Up 5-3 at half, Summit scored seven unanswered goals, four of which came in the third quarter.
“We were able to take control in the third quarter which is what we wanted to do,” Davidson said.
The reason they were able to do so, en route to the 12-6 win was simple. Everyone on the field settled in and picked up their play.
“We just got really comfortable,” Cabrone, who had three goals and three assists, said. “The defense was playing really well and got a lot of pressure, and then Brian Hadley (one goal) at the face-offs was awesome, so it helped us a lot.”
And so, one of the state’s perennial powers starts the season 1-0. But with a younger, inexperienced team than years past, the head coach knows it’s still a long and potentially arduous road at times ahead.
“We got a lot of work to do,” Davidson said. “We’re young and we’ve got a lot of work. Mendham’s a much-improved team and they have some nice midfielders and we were worried about them. We got Westfield coming in who’s going to be very good, so it doesn’t get any easier.”