MORRISTOWN, NJ - The play in goal from Ryan Ness was outstanding. The defense was excellent. Faceoffs were not a problem. There were no turnovers that led to goals, or costly penalties.
By process of elimination, there was only one deficiency Chatham could point to in its 5-1 boys lacrosse loss to Delbarton on Tuesday.
"We didn't score goals, bottom line," Chatham coach Tony Calandra said. "I don't think they play better defense than us. We didn't put the ball in the net. We had opportunities and we didn't score. We stood on our heads defensively. We stood on our head in the goal. We did everything. We didn't turn the ball over in the middle of the field. We got shots. We should have put the ball in the net."
Delbarton (3-0), ranked No. 1 in the state by NJ.com, got two goals from James Santoro as the Green Wave built a 4-0 lead over the first two quarters. The Cougars finally broke their offensive drought 3:17 in the third quarter when Thomas Berger fired in a shot off a quick pass from Frank Anello.
That cut the deficit to 4-1, but Chatham was shut out the rest of the way. Junior attack Mac Bredahl, who came into the game with 15 points, was held without a point for the first time in his varsity career. Bredahl did hit the pipe twice with shots in the first half.
"We couldn't put the ball int he back of the net," Bredahl said. "We were getting chances. They have a great defense, but it's not like we weren't getting looks. We have to work on our shooting in practice, obviously. We can learn from this by looking at how they were playing us. We weren't getting the greatest shots in the world, but they were good shots. We can learn from this."
Ness, a junior, was impressive in his first start of the season for Chatham (2-1), notching 16 of his 19 saves in the first half.
"Ness stood on his head the whole game and so did the whole defense," Bredahl said. "I comes down to us. We have to put the ball in the net. We can't put the defense in the situation like that with no goals at the break."
Chatham plays at home on Saturday vs. Bernards.
Thomas Berger scores Chatham's lone goal after receiving a pass from Frank Anello in the third quarter