MIDDLETOWN, NJ - Chatham got to experience what November field hockey feels like on Friday afternoon.
It was a bittersweet finish for the second-seeded Cougars, a 1-0 loss to top-seeded Middletown South in the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 state final.
Kayla Freibott's goal off a cross in front with 19:32 showing in the second half allowed the Eagles to lift the championship trophy.
With 2:04 left in the game, Chatham coach Kaitlin Leyden called time out to deliver a message to her team.
"I told them they should be really proud that they made it to the finals," Leyden said. "Win or lose, they're a heckuva team."
Chatham (13-5-2) advanced one step further than it did the year before when it lost in the state sectional semifinal round.
"I think Middletown South got lucky," Leyden said. "I think we were by far the better team. It just wasn't our day. We have next year and our girls are very hungry for it. They're going to make these seniors proud."
Alexa Lee's deflected shot sails wide of the goal
Charlotte Hamilton takes the shot off a Chatham penalty corner in the second half