SUMMIT, NJ - Jarrett Ross' second goal of the game, with 1:12 remaining in the second overtime, gave the Summit High School Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team a 6-5 victory over Seton Hall Prep at Investors Bank Field.
Playing in conditions better suited for an episode of Deadliest Catch than a match of two top-ranked lacrosse teams, Summit eventually prevailed in a thrilling encounter, due in large part to a dominant performance by Senior FOGO Brian Hadley, who went 15-16 at "the X", including crucial face-off wins beginning both overtime periods.
The Hilltoppers big possession advantage meant they rained down shots on the Seton Hall goal, only to see many go narrowly wide, some gilt-edged chances they were unable to put away , and many attempts stopped by talented Seton Hall Goalie, Colin Kirst, son of Summit Assistant Coach Kyle Kirst.
The squall-like, raw conditions presented problems for both teams, as passes went awry, players lost their footing, and loose balls were the norm. Summit was sharp on ground balls, and played a strong defensive game, and goalie Sam Bebout made several fine saves, and the offense found a way to break through.
Ross opened the see-saw encounter with a goal in the first quarter and, after Seton Hall Prep equalized, Andrew Chase scored the first of his two goals to give Summit a 2-1 lead. The Pirates scored late in the quarter to knot the score at two apiece.
The Hilltoppers opened a two goal lead at 4-2 behind goals from Connor Murphy and Chase's second, but a Seton Hall tally with 41 seconds left in the second quarter narrowed the lead to 4-3 at the half.
While the weather was brutal throughout the game, it took a visible toll in the third quarter as turnovers on both sides began to pile up. The only goal of the quarter was a beauty by Matt Fischetti, getting off an underhanded shot as he was being knocked to the turf. Summit led 5-3 heading into the final quarter.
Summit looked like they would pay a heavy price for their numerous missed chances, as Seton pulled even in the fourth quarter, the fifth -- and tying -- goal coming with just under three minutes to go. Both teams had possessions inside the final two minutes, but the horn sounded with the game even at five.
Hadley won the face-off in the first overtime, and Summit had a long possession followed by Ross hitting the crossbar as he powered in from the right hand side, Kirst was able to gobble up the rebound, but Seton Hall was unable to test Bebout and the game was headed to a second overtime.
The second overtime period started like the first, with Hadley winning the face-off. This time, however, Summit's possession paid off as Ross' driving run opened up enough space for him to fire past Kirst, and suddenly it was raining Hilltoppers on Bebout and Ross.
"We had a big edge in shots, got some great looks, we just have to finish," said Summit Head Coach Jim Davidson, who noted that Hadley's face-off work was "huge" for his team. "Obviously, the conditions affected both teams, it caused turnovers, made it tough to get your shots on target, as the ball doesn't come out of the pocket the way it normally does."
The 12-1 Hilltoppers now travel to Old Bridge, May 3, with face-off set for 11 a.m.