MADISON, NJ - Chatham avoided a letdown against Madison, allowing its fewest goals this season in an 8-3 boys lacrosse victory at Twombly Field on Thursday.
Chatham struggled on the offensive end early against Madison's zone defense before middie David Gill scored two goals in the second and two more in the third to power the Cougars.
"We were a little unlucky offensively," Chatham coach Tony Calandra said. "We hit everything but the net. I think we got a little complacent against the zone and tried to be too perfect. We haven't seen a zone in a couple weeks. The last time we saw one was against Bernards and we played well against it then. We struggled a little bit and our defense played real well A win is a win. We move on."
Calandra didn't dwell much on the Madison game afterward, reminding his squad that it can clinch the Fitch Division title with three victories next week. Chatham has already beaten Summit, Seton Hall and Westfield, so if it can knock off Delbarton, West Morris and West Essex, the Fitch will be theirs.
Austin Pierce got Chatham (6-3) started when he took a pass from Gill up top and fired an overhand shot past Madison goalie Reid Collins. Will Barnett followed with a goal off a feed from Scott Lynch to make it 2-0. Andrew Kaye's goal with 41 seconds left in the first cut it to 2-1 for the Dodgers.
David Gill receives a pass from Thomas Berger and connects in second period in video below
Gill started to assert himself in the second period when he fired in an angled shot after receiving a pass from freshman Thomas Berger. With 56 seconds left in the half, Gill broke into the middle and bounced a shot into the net, staking the Cougars to a 4-1 advantage.
After Vince Sapio opened the scoring in the second half with a goal for Madison, Gill helped seal the victory with two goals in a span 23 seconds.
The first came off a pass from Rich Berger and the second was a great individual effort by Gill. The senior stole a clearing pass and then sprinted around the charging goalie to deposit the ball into an open net for a 6-2 lead.
Thomas Berger and Scott Lynch scored the final two goals in the fourth quarter for Chatham. A.J. Schmitz scored for Madison.
Matt Grilli and Matt Nestler split time in goal for Chatham and combined to make eight saves.