SUMMIT, NJ - In a match played in steamy conditions and which lasted more than two hours, the Summit High School Girls Varsity Soccer Team got a 76th-minute goal from senior Sara Peñuela to earn a 2-2 draw with Westfield in the Hiltoppers' season-opener on the Upper Turf Field.
Neither team could find the back of the net through the remaining four minutes of normal time or two 10-minute Extra Time sessions.
in addition to the 20 minutes of bonus soccer, the game was significantly delayed in the first half when senior Summit goalkeeper Sophie Zachara and a Westfield player collided just inside the penalty area on a 55-45 ball that Zachara appeared to get her gloves on. Both players were injured on the play, and Zachara required medical assistance and did not return.
Adding insult to injury, the collision jarred the ball loose and the referee let the match play on and Westfield's Izzy Gauthier deposited the ball into the unguarded goal for 1-nil lead.
The Maroon and White answered in the second half when junior midfielder Skye Gilbert fired a 20-yard free kick into the upper left-hand corner of the goal, but Summit capitulated moments later as a long Westfield throw-in that bounced twice in the Hilltopper penalty area. In the ensuing scrum the ball found the foot of Blue Devil Ellie Sherman who scored.
Summit pressed for the equalizer and it finally came off the foot of Peñuela, who looked pacey and dangerous running the right channel all match-long. A push into the Westfield penalty area resulted in her slotting home from five-yards out.
In Extra Time, Summit senior Grace Weinberg -- who had come on for Zachara -- made a massive stop, coming out to right and closing down a scoring attempt from 12 yards out on the left side of the box. The Hilltoppers had a big chance of their own in the final minutes, the ball inches away from the boot of sophomore Ashley Thomas with a yawning goal in front of her.
Summit (0-0-1) next makes the short drive to Governor Livingston September 7 to take on the Highlanders. The match is set to kick-off at 9:30 a.m.