CHATHAM, NJ - Will Hosbein was winning faceoffs and Mac Bredahl was on his game. That combination meant a day off for Chatham's stingy defense in the Cougars' 18-4 boys lacrosse win over Vernon Tuesday at Cougar Field.
Bredahl scored a career-best seven goals and added two assists, sparked by Hosbein's winning possessions, which propelled top-seeded Chatham (16-2) into the NJSIAA North Jersey, Group 2 final, set for 11 a.m. Saturday at Cougar Field.
Chatham's opponent will be the winner of the Sparta vs. Ramapo semifinal that will be played Wednesday.
"We played well," Chatham coach Tony Calandra said. "We practiced well. We've been pretty solid most of the year. It's just a matter of keeping focused and taking it one game at a time.
"Either is fine with us. Both teams are good. Sparta is much better than when we played them the first time and Ramapo is in a good conference and plays a good schedule. We'll be happy to play either one on Saturday."
Bredahl collected a hat trick as Chatham put up its highest-scoring first quarter of the season in taking an 8-0 lead. Thomas Berger, Bredahl and Chris Francesco netted the first three goals before Frank Anello scored in transition for the fourth goal.
Defensive middie Timmy Adams didn't pick up any points in the game, but he was a huge factor in picking up ground balls off the faceoff and in clearing the ball into the offensive end. Adams sprinted forward and fed Connor Byrd (2 goals, 3 assists), who then passed to Anello for the fourth goal.
Soon after, Adams hustled behind the net on a Vernon shot to gain possession for Chatham, which led to Ryan Chase's goal on a pinpoint pass from Byrd. Francesco followed with a downhill run and a left-handed shot that hit the back of the net from a hard angle before Bredahl scored two straight unassisted goals to close out the period.
Mac Bredahl, Kyle Kology and Will Hosbein sum up the game vs. Vernon
Bredahl scored the first three goals of the third quarter to open a 15-2 lead for the Cougars and was pulled from the game midway through the period. The junior's fifth and sixth goals came just eight seconds apart as Hosbein won the faceoff and passed to Bredahl, who put away his chance with a wicked shot from up top.
Francesco, Anello, Berger and Byrd each finished with two goals for Chatham, which received one score apiece from Evan Gavalakis, Cade Krauss and Chase.
Mac Bredahl scores the first of his seven goals for Chatnam vs. Vernon
Max Schelling makes a downhill run that results in a goal by Mac Bredahl
Thomas Berger scores the first of his two goals for Chatham