SUMMIT, NJ - Prior to the start of the season, iconic Summit Varsity Lacrosse Coach Jim Davidson said, "offensively, it will take some time" for the team to hit its stride. After all, 2013 scoring leaders Austin Carbone and Liam Mennig had graduated, and there did not appear to be an obvious heir apparent.
Against Delbarton, a team slotted near the top of the state rankings, the Hilltoppers' scoring gait was paced by a converted midfield player who stepped up to have one memorable afternoon.
Senior James Strabley, converted this season from midfield to attack, scored four goals -- including the eventual game-winner in the fourth quarter -- as Summit improved to 2-0 on the season, winning at Delbarton, 8-7.
After falling behind early, Summit drew level in the final seconds of the first quarter when Strabley scored his second goal to tie the game at 2-2. Whatever grip, moderate as it was, that Summit had on the game was established in the second and third quarters.
Outscoring Delbarton 3-1 in the second period, behind a goal from Matt Fischetti and two from Connor Murphy, Summit took a 5-3 lead at the half. The third quarter was about as exciting a scoreless frame as one could imagine, with both teams having possession and chances. Goalie Sam Bebout, strong between the pipes all day for Summit, made several key stops, and Summit took a two-goal lead into what turned out to be a frantic fourth quarter.
A spin-o-rama goal from Chris Zanelli was Summit's sixth goal, and Stabley completed his Hat Trick to make it 7-4. But Delbarton roared back to make it 7-6, before Strabley's fourth appeared to establish enough daylight at 8-6 to see out the game. The Green Wave tallied to narrow the lead to 8-7, but a key face-off win by FOGO Brian Hadley and some trademark Hilltopper defensive tenacity saw the clock expire, creating a mad dash celebration to Bebout.
"It was a great game, it always is when these two teams face each other," said Davidson. He was also quick to praise Delbarton as, "An outstanding team."
Summit, winners of two straight to start the season -- having beaten St. Joseph of Metuchen 12-4 mid-week -- next face another big challenge when host Chatham on April 1. "Our schedule is no walk in the park." said Davidson. "The goal is to get better every day, and be playing our best in May."
2014 Summit Boys Varsity Lacrosse Schedule
Home games played at Investors Bank Field
3/26 v. St. Joseph Metuchen (12-4, W)
3/29 @ Delbarton (8-7, W)
4/1 v. Chatham - 4 p.m.
4/3 v. Sparta - 4p.m.
4/5 @ West Essex - 11 a.m.
4/10 @ West Morris Central - 4 p.m.
4/12 v. Lincoln-Sudbury, MA - 3:15 p.m.
4/15 v. Mendham - 4 p.m.
4/17 @ Rumson-Fairhaven - 4 p.m.
4/19 v. Princeton HS - Noon
4/22 @ Westfield - 4 p.m.
4/24 @ Mahwah - 4 p.m.
4/26 v. Ridgefield, CT - Noon
4/30 v. Seton Hall Prep - 4 p.m.
5/3 @ Minisink Valley, NY - 3:30 p.m.
5/15 v. Ridgewood - 4 p.m.
2014 Boys Varsity Roster
1 - Charlie Guttila, junior - A
2 - Kyle Crotty, junior - M
3 - Drew Mulholland, junior - M
4 - Tucker Hall, sophomore - A
5 - James Tully, senior - LSM
6 - Nick Zachara, senior - LSM
7 - Lax Graeb, senior - A
9 - Dan Childers, senior - M
10 - Jake Paytas, senior - M
11 - Evan Kulpan, sophomore - M
12 - Andrew Chase, sophomore - M
13 - James Strabley, senior - A
14 - Corey McManus, freshman - A
15 - John Cordrey, junior - A
16 - Jack McCarthy, junior - M
17 - Jack Johnson, freshman - M
18 - Chris Laughlin, senior - A
22 - Riley Flynn, junior - M
23 - Chris Zanelli, junior - M
24 - Mat Fischetti, senior - M
25 - Jarrett Ross, senior - M
27 - James Holzer, senior - M
28 - Sam Zanelli, junior - M
29 - Colin Andrews, junior - A
33 - Pete McKinley, junior - LSM
34 - Andrew Helmer, junior - D
35 - Steve Rainero, junior - D
36 - Tom Kane, senior - D
37 - Mat Muller, senior - D
39 - Matt Sajer, senior - D
40 - Connor Murphy, senior - A
41 - Sean Andrews, junior - D
42 - Brian Hadley, senior - FOGO
43 - Sam Bebout, senior - G
44 - Jay Winchell, junior - G
45 - Kyle Waldron, senior - M
50 - Will Delaney, senior - D