SUMMIT, NJ – When talking about a state sectional game, the casual fan might ask the next day; who scored for a particular team? But when talking about the contest between the Summit Lady Hilltoppers and the Governor Livingston Lady Highlanders that took place at Summit High School, the better question to ask about the home team might be; who didn’t score?
Summit received goals from 10 different players on Monday afternoon with Caroline Cordrey and Devin Lawler leading the way with three apiece as they secured their sixth win in a row by defeating Governor Livingston 18-3 in the first round of the North, Group 2 NJSIAA sectional tournament.
“Our team has been working hard on waiting for the right opportunities. We executed all our plays. Everybody worked really well together,” Cordrey said of the win. “Our team chemistry was really there and it’s been getting better and better,” she added.
Coming off their big Union County tournament victory on Saturday evening when they defeated Oak Knoll 17-7, Summit used that momentum to fuel the fire that was evident in their play right from the opening face-off.
They scored the game’s first three goals in a span of just over a minute thirty to set the tone in an affair that they meant business in. Kate Martino, the North Carolina-bound senior who is a ground ball machine, hit first before Lawler scored two in a row just 30 seconds apart from one another.
Kelly Osmulski hit from the center slot on a free try and then Cordrey, who leads her team with 66 tallies, got on the score sheet with two quick goals. The first was a laser of a shot that found the top corner of the cage and the second was off a nice move from behind the Governor Livingston goal as they took an early 6-0 lead with 18:49 remaining in the first half.
“Our win in the county was a big one… so we’re definitely getting momentum from big wins,” Cordrey commented. “Just being really competitive and we’re really excited being in the states; you always want to come out strong. You want to make sure you’re just fired up.”
The Summit girls were not only fired up in the beginning as they kept the pressure on throughout the rest of the first half.
The defense and stringent goaltending from Kady Glynn allowed only one Governor Livingston goal in the first 25 minutes of play, but that was mainly due to Cordrey’s and Maddie Gramigna’s work in the draw circle. They combined to win 10 out of 13 face-offs in the first half.
That permitted Summit to control nearly all of the possession and consequently virtually the entire game.
“They did what they needed to do. They brought the intensity that was necessary for the game and they came away with the win, which is what we wanted. All in all, it was a good game,” Summit Head Coach Joe Walsh told the Alternative Press.
Coming off the bench, Jen Stabler sparked Summit with two straight goals midway through the first half followed by a score from midfielder Meghan Celmer and Gramigna as they gained an 11-1 lead going into halftime.
The second half was played much like the first as Summit won eight out of ten draws and substituted players in and out to keep the offense fresh.
The likes of Stabler along with Olivia Kelly and Nikki Sharkin who each scored a goal for Summit in the second half, did a solid job in their roles taking over for the starters; an asset that could become a key factor as the team roles on in state play.
“It was nice to get everybody in today. It didn’t matter whether it was the starters or the people who don’t see as much playing time; everybody played really well and worked in the system and we just executed everything,” Cordrey said.
And now the real question for the Union County Champions, who now boast an 12-4 record and are ranked 11th in the Star Ledger Top Twenty, is just how far can they go in state tournament play with all that talent on their squad.
“I think we’re going to go pretty far, I’m hoping. Obviously we want to go all the way. We’ll see. We’re just going to take it one game at a time, one play at a time and see how it goes,” said Cordrey with a smile.
The next test for Summit in the North, Group 2 sectionals comes when they host Indian Hills High School this Thursday at a time to be announced.