SUMMIT, NJ - On a day when cloudless skies, comfortable temps and a consistent light breeze took the place of the hot-as-a-griddle-like conditions that they played in 28 hours earlier, the top-seeded Summit High School Girls Varsity Lacrosse team continued to heat up.
Shooting out to a lead just 13 seconds into the contest, The 'Top grabbed an early advantage and never really looked back, defeating second-ranked West Essex 13-5 to claim the NJSIAA North Jersey, Group 2 Title.
Senior captain Breanna Carnevale had a Hat Trick, with junior Maggie DeFabio, sophomore Lily Spinner, along with freshman Lauren Riley and Lyndsay Thomas all notching two goals. Sophomore Jane Freeman contributed four assists, Spinner had two helpers and junior Kit Zanelli plus freshman Kate Riley each found the back of the net.
Junior Maddie Busam had 11 saves in goal for the Hilltoppers who, with the win, improve their season record to 18-2.
Molly Simon and Gianna Puorro each had two goals for the Knights, who got 11 stops from goalie Jordan Cohen.
Summit now advances to the Group 2 Final against Rumson-Fair Haven on June 12.
The Maroon and White's Lauren Riley set the tone from literally the game's first whistle as she took the draw, won the draw, took off down the field and scored. Summit controlled possession throughout the first half and led 7-2 at the break.
The second half was a pretty good facsimile of the opening 25 minutes, with the home team in control the entire way. Taking care of the ball when they had it -- and playing tough defense when they didn't -- the Hilltoppers showed excellent composure and focus, especially considering they were competing in their second tournament game in as many days.
The road to the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions now takes Summit to Middletown South High School on June 12. There, the Hilltoppers will face the South Group 2 winners Rumson Fair-Haven for the Group 2 Title and a berth in the TOC. Game time is set for 11 a.m.