BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Senior Midfielder Meg Murray led the Chatham Lady Cougars with four goals and Jaclyn Leto and Courtney Landolfe each netted three as the team held a 12-0 lead late in the first half and defeated Rumson High School 17-5 on Thursday afternoon in the Group Two Finals.
The Lady Cougars controlled play thoughout the entire game. Kelsey Perselay won all but one faceoff in the first half as her team scored seven goals in the first ten minutes of play. Leto and Landolfe scored their three goals apiece in the first twenty-five minutes of play and Murray and Perselay added two each. The score was 12-2 in the Lady Cougars' favor at the end of the first half.
"Offensively, we knew what we wanted to do. They played hard and moved the ball well," Lady Cougar Head Coach Deb Marriot said. "We knew if we could maintain possession that we could make it really difficult for them (Rumson)."
The second half was no different as the Lady Cougars continued to control the flow of play. After Rumson scored the first goal at the 21:44 marker to make the score 12-4 the Lady Cougars came back with five straight goals to close out the game. Murray scored her third goal of the game off of a nice assist from Landolfe and then Lindsey Ford scored her first goal of the game to stretch the Lady Cougar lead back to ten.
Later in the half, Kathryn Maiorano scored her first goal of the game off of a nice move towards the Rumson goal. Landolfe scored her third goal of the game shortly after, before Lady Cougar freshman goaltender Hannah Reader turned the ball over which led to a Rumson goal. With the score 16-5, Murray scored her fourth of the game late in the half before time expired.
"We had our game plan going in and they were ready...They did everything that our coaches told them they had to do," Marriot said of her team's play on Thursday afternoon.
With the win, the Lady Cougars advance in the New Jersey Girls Lacrosse Tournament of Champions. They enter the tournament as a five seed and will wait to find out who their opponent is, which depends on the winners of the other sectional final games that took place on Thursday afternoon and evening. Their first tournament game is next Tuesday evening at Monmouth University.