SUMMIT, NJ - The expression goes that "possession is nine-tenths of the law." For the Summit High School Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team, possession equaled 100 percent of the goals, and served as the catalyst for a dominant first half performance versus New Providence in the Union County Tournament semi-final.
Owning the face-off and ground ball battles in the opening 24 minutes, Summit powered to an 8-0 halftime lead, subduing the Pioneers in the process, finishing with an 11-3 victory and a trip to the Union County Tournament Final.
In the final, May 12 at AL Johnson High School, Summit will take on Westfield, 15-6 winners over Scotch Plains-Fanwood in the first semi-final. Earlier this season, the Hilltoppers beat the Blue Devils in a defensive slugfest, 4-3, April 22 at Kehler Stadium.
Brian Hadley had another impressive performance in "the X", going 14-18 on the evening. Hadley won the first four face-offs of the game, and before New Providence could settle in against the top-seeded Hilltoppers
, it was 4-0.
In less than five minutes of action, Chris Zanelli, Kyle Waldron, John Cordrey and James Strabley scored, and New Providence called timeout. The break did not stop Summit's onslaught, as possession time piled up and four more goals would follow.
Matt Fischetti, two more for Cordrey giving him a Hat Trick, and a Jarrett Ross goal made it 8-0 at the half and, while lacrosse matches often can get close in a hurry, the feeling was that the outcome had been decided.
Contributing to the sentiment was Summit's high level of finishing prowess, combined with New Providence's inability to mount a consistent attack, as they turned the ball over multiple times and were coming up second-best on loose balls much more often than not. When they did get a good look on goal, Sam Bebout was there to make the save.
The Pioneer supporters got something to cheer about in the opening 10 seconds of the second half, as a face-off win to start the third quarter resulted in a fast-break goal, their first of the game. Max Graeb scored for Summit, and the quarter ended level at one, with Summit up 9-1.
The fourth quarter saw liberal substitutions, two more goals for New Providence, and two more goals for Graeb, giving him three for the game.
Summit Head Coach Jim Davidson said, 'I thought we played well in both halves, we just didn't finish our chances in the second half the way we did in the first." Of the Finals opponent Westfield, Davidson said, "They are very good defensive team, and it going to be another battle."
Face-off for the Union County Tournament Final is set for May 12 at 7:30 p.m. The Boys game will be preceded by the Girls Final, also pitting Summit against Westfield, with that match starting at 6 p.m.