CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham got off to a hot start and made a strong finish. The problem was those little mistakes in between that added up to a loss in the end.
Summit scored two goals during a 17-second span late in the first half and held off Chatham for a 10-7 girls lacrosse win on Friday at Haas Field.
The Lady Cougars (5-4) were ready to go from the opening draw as Catherine McNiff won control and Abby Morgan made a move from behind the net to score just 1:20 into the action for a 1-0 lead.
Another favorable draw by McNiff preceded a toss from Zoe Kraus to Morgan, who attacked the goal for a shot that made it 2-0 less than two minutes later.
Chatham then had possession again with a chance to score again, but turned the ball over before it could get a shot. Summit (8-1) swung the momentum by scoring the next four goals to take a 4-2 lead.
"Against a team like Summit, the little mistakes add up," Chatham coach Hilary Renna said. "Even though they seem small at the moment, you have to really capitalize when you have the chance. We need to string together a 50-minute game."
Schuyler Bixby went low with her shot to convert an 8-meter chance and cut the deficit to 4-3 for Chatham with 7:26 to go in the half.
One of the 50 minutes of action Chatham wished it could have back was the last minute of the first half when Summit scored with 23.1 seconds left and then got a Cecily Stabler goal with just 6.3 seconds showing to build the Hilltoppers lead up to 6-3 at the break.
"It definitely hurt us going into the second half," Senor tri-captain Bixby said. "We're working on playing a 50-minute game. We came out in the first half really, really well. We scored those two goals right off the bat. We just need to play a full 50 minutes and we can beat any team."
Summit scored first in the second half to grab a 7-3 lead before McNiff hit her 8-meter attempt by squeezing through a crowd in front (see video below). A second goal by McNiff cut it to 8-5. The Hilltoppers pushed their lead back to 10-5 before the Lady Cougars made a late charge.
Frances Workman cut through the middle and scored off a feed from McNiff. Bixby then dodged her way to the goal with a downhill run and finished with 2:06 left (see video below).
"This is definitely the closest we've come to beating Summit throughout our high school, but we know that's not good enough," Bixby said. "We're going to see Summit again, we're going to make that our goal and we're going to be ready to beat them. We're not happy with the loss.
"A lot of time we have unforced turnovers and make silly mistakes. Once we can clean that up and make those crisper passes and better decisions, we're going to be able to play the 50-minute game we want."
Schuyler Bixby scores unassisted for one of her two goals for Chatham
Catherine McNiff converts an 8-meter chance for Chatham in the second half
Chatham travels to play Morristown on Tuesday.