SUMMIT, NJ - In a match that wasn't exactly easy on the eyes, the Summit High School Boys Varsity Soccer Team put forth an uneven and disjointed performance for the majority of the encounter and fell to Cranford, 2-1, at Tatlock Park.
In addition to the 50-plus minutes of meh play, the Hilltoppers saw two minutes of madness in the second half contribute to two soft goals, the totality of which ultimately caused the result.
A ping-pongish first 40 minutes saw Summit shade the run of play and possession, but the only real scoring chance was Cranford's, as the visitors hit the bar early on. It was a foreshadowing of future match events -- an unmarked Cougar lurking in the home side's penalty area and latching onto a failed clearance.
With just less than 10 minutes gone in the second half, Cranford broke through on a goal that resulted from a series of mistakes by Summit in their own penalty area, the ball dinked over the head of Hilltopper goalkeeper James Ford.
After the goal, Delmar Arsenal -- arguably Summit's most potent goal-scoring threat -- came on and things immediately changed. Unfortunately for the Maroon and White, and in no way related to Arsenal's presence on the pitch, that change was for the worse.
A mistake in the back gifted a goal to Cranford -- the Cougars will not find the back of the net in easier fashion this season -- and Summit was in a two-goal ditch.
Sensing the dire straits they had put themselves in, the Hilltoppers switched on and began to play to form.
The ball stayed in the Cranford half of the pitch for virtually the duration of the contest and, with 15 minutes to go, the Hilltoppers finally broke through on a set piece.
Senior captain Andres Chacon whipped a ball from the outside right of the penalty area across the six-yard box where it found the head of fellow captain Liam Galligan, then the post, and then the back of the net.
Still trailing, Summit poured forward and, while the they generated some clear chances, they were unable to finish and saw their 2017 record dip to 2-3.
Summit stays home to take on Union September 19. The match at Tatlock Park is scheduled to kick-off at 4 p.m.
Girls Defeated at Cranford, 2-1
Summit's three-match winning streak came to an end in a 2-1 defeat at Cranford.
Junior Kelsey Space, who had an assist in the Hilltoppers previous match versus Governor Livingston, turned goal scorer against the Cougars. Space's second-half goal, which was assisted by Iria Diaz, however was not enough to overcome goals from Cranford's Maggie Murray and Lindsay Wielgus.
Senior Catherine Maloney was credited with four saves for Summit, now 3-2 on the season.
The Hilltoppers next face Oak Knoll at the Chatham Fields on September 16. The match, originally scheduled to be at home on the Upper Turf Field, now begins at 12 p.m.