SUMMIT, NJ - Battling traffic on the parkway to reach a beach destination during the Memorial Day weekend can be a daunting challenge.
The Chatham boys lacrosse team had its own traffic problems in the NJSIAA North Jersey, Group 2 state final on Saturday, only there was no E-ZPass when it came to navigating the renowned Summit zone defense.
"They play that zone and it's really tough to get one-on-one dodges," Chatham senior Mac Bredahl said. "It's really hard to score with just one move. They came out, they had a good game plan and they beat us today. We got shots, the goalie made saves. We couldn't really get it going."
Summit, with senior goalie Will Vitton credited with making 18 saves, scored a 10-3 win over Chatham for the North Jersey championship.
"I thought we played well early, we just didn't capitalize on the opportunities," Chatham coach Tony Calandra said. "If we could have put in a few goals early, we could have stayed in it. We thought we were fine at the half (down 4-1). We didn't take the opportunities presented to us."
Senior Ryan Decker scored three goals for Chatham (14-7), two on assists by classmate Ryan Chase, to account for all the Cougar scoring.
Ryan Decker's first goal came in the second period and cut the deficit to 3-1 for Chatham
Decker's goal in the third quarter made it a 4-2 game
But after Decker's second goal cut the deficit to two, Summit (17-2) got three straight goals from Eamon McTernan, igniting a run of six straight goals that spanned the third and fourth quarters, boosting the Hilltopper lead to 10-2 with 4:40 showing in the fourth quarter.
"The hardest thing is that you'll never put on a Chatham uniform again, but I feel like this team has done lot this year, we grew as a unit," Bredahl said. "I'll never forget playing with these guys and we'll remember this for the rest of our lives."
COUGAR NOTES: Chatham is still the only team to defeat No. 1-ranked Delbarton this season ... Bredahl closes out his Chatham career as the all-time leading scorer with 307 points, which breaks down to 154 goals and 153 assists.