MORRISTOWN, NJ - After the showers stopped, the deluge began.
On a day greeted by a wind-blown misty rain, the Summit High School Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team made the trek up Route 24, with their undefeated 7-0 record in tow, and had the opportunity to add to their pristine mark with a splashy statement-like performance at defending TOC Champ Delbarton.
Falling behind 3-0 in the first quarter, the Hilltoppers' aspirations were doused early and things -- from a Hilltopper Nation perspective -- progressively got worse from there, as the Green Wave washed away Summit's undefeated mark with a vengeance by defeating the Maroon and White 15-5 at William O. Regan Field.
Delbarton's C.J. Kirst outscored the visitors on his own, netting seven goals, including four of his squad's five markers in a third quarter where the Green Wave went to high tide. Michael Long had eight assists and goalie Michael Riccardelli was credited with seven saves.
Tyler Hadley had seven saves in goal for Summit, which had five different goal scorers.
From the get-go through the final horn, the Hilltoppers had trouble getting possession and looked a bit unsure what to do with the ball when they had it. Delbarton won 17 of the game's 23 face-offs and outshot Summit 20-10.
After an defensive opening half of a first quarter in which neither team found the back of the net, The Green Wave scored three goals in a span of 3:44 to take a lead they would never relinquish.
Down 3-0, Summit got on the scoreboard at the 7:46 mark of the second quarter when sophomore Luke Dinola curled around the left goal post and stuffed one past Riccardelli. Dinola's unassisted tally was answered by Delbarton's Jack Cerza before Hilltopper junior John Fischetti blasted home from the right side at 2:47 to again close the gap to two goals at 4-2.
In a game featuring a 10-goal margin it is challenging to highlight a moment in the first half and refer to it as a turning point, but one such instance occurred after Fischetti's goal. Summit snagged the ball and actually had a good look at target but found Riccardelli instead of the back of the net. The Green Wave came down and Kirst scored his second of the day. Instead of heading to the halftime break behind just a single goal and with momentum, The 'Top headed to the intermission down, and down 5-2.
Any hopes of a Hilltopper comeback were nearly single-handedly swamped by Kirst in a third quarter which saw the Green Wave pot five straight scores to take a 10-2 lead and, in the process, make the final 14 minutes or so of the contest likely feel like a hour for the visiting team's supporters.
The Hilltoppers did get the frame's final two goals -- through senior captain Skyler Schluter and the first-ever Varsity goal from junior defender Kevin Beatty -- but the die was cast as the stanza concluded with Delbarton leading 10-4.
The final quarter was more of the same, with the Green Wave popping in five more goals and Summit getting just a lone score from sophomore Michael Bonomo.
"Delbarton beat us in all aspects of the game and played at a higher level all over the field," said Summit Head Coach Jim Davidson. "We have to get better and pick up our level to compete against teams of this caliber."
Summit (7-1) will immediately get the opportunity to do just that as they next travel to Seton Hall Prep, another elite-level team, on April 23. Face-off is set for 4:30 p.m.