SUMMIT, NJ - The rain didn't come during the game, but the Summit girls lacrosse team made it rain goals in their season opener on Friday.
The defending state champions scored the final seven goals of the first half, sending them to an 18-6 victory over Chatham.
Sophomore attack Sara Szynal, who is already committed to Northwestern, scored three goals in the first half and then netted the first two goals after intermission to finish with a team-leading five goals. Meaghan Celmer and Madeline Gramigna also joined Szynal with a hat trick in the first half.
"We played okay today," Summit coach Mike Walsh said. "When you win a game big, there are some things you do well and things you need to work on.
"A lot of times it's possession. I actually think we were great in terms of the draw. We just gave ourselves more possessions than they did. We were pretty proficient in what we did when we had the ball in the offensive end."
Summit goalie Kady Glynn received plenty of help from her defense, led by senior Anna Baumeister, who played an outstanding game..
"Baumeister is great," Walsh said. "She played middie for us last year. A very, very smart player and a physical player. I can't say enough about Anna Baumeister. She's the kind of kid you'd like to have as your daughter. She's brilliant. She's going to Cornell. She's athletic and the nicest kid in the world. I can't say enough about her."
Gramigna's third goal of the game with 4:52 left in the first half staked Summit to a 7-4 lead and ignited a run of seven straight goals. Summit took a 13-4 lead into the break.
"It was great to open with Chatham, a town rival," Gramigna said. "I think we all played well together. We knew we had to get the draw and go to goal and that's what we did. We liked opening on our home field and the weather was more cooperative."
Baumeister credited the all-senior defensive unit, which frustrated Chatham's attack.
"We have a really strong defense with four seniors that start back there," Baumeister said. "We work really well together and we're meshing well. We have Kady making a lot of saves and we aim to get it out quickly and get it to our midfielders and to the attack. Then all good things come."
Chatham matched Summit early on as Emily Wingate's goal tied it at 3-3 for Chatham. But Summit's ability to win the draw wore Chatham down.
"We started off strong and had a lot of energy coming in," Chatham's Bridget Ballard said. "As the game went on they started scoring more and we were losing the draws. I think it's all mental. We had the ability to stay with them, but we started hanging our heads and thinking of our mistakes rather than what we can do. That played a huge part in why we failed.
"Kady Glynn is a great goalie and they're an amazing team."