SUMMIT, NJ - Down to 10 men and playing without two of their starting XI injured early in the match, the Summit High School Boys Varsity Soccer Team put forth a stellar effort and defeated Plainfield 1-0 to advance to the Union County Tournament (UCT) Semifinals.
There, the Hilltoppers -- now 11-3-1 on the season and unbeaten in 10 matches -- will face Scotch Plains-Fanwood October 24 at AL Johnson High School. Match kick-off is set for 5 p.m.
Despite losing Darryl Martin and Andres Chacon, and seeing a player sent off for two yellow card infractions -- all in the opening half -- an in-form Summit side stayed on the front foot, but was unable to break the scoreless deadlock in regulation.
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In the first period of extra time, Patrick Tully played a nice pass into forward Jafeth Reyes, who beat his man and struck a shot that beat the Plainfield goalkeeper, hit one post, them glanced off the other post and nestled in the goal.
"The boys showed great character and drive today, and the will the win." said Head Coach Ashley Sularz. "We rallied together after going down to 10 men. It inspired us to take our game to the next level with a determination, focus, and desire to make the moment count. Case in point, Jafeth's winning goal hit both posts before finally going over the line. It was not easy, but we got it done, and now we can play another day."
Prior to the UCT Semi, the Hilltoppers travel to Linden October 20 at 6:45 p.m., and then return home to Tatlock Park for a Senior Day showdown with Cranford October 22 at 4 p.m.