Girls, Interrupted: Summit Lacrosse Seizes State Sectional Crown with 13-8 Victory Over Chatham in Weather-Shortened Game; Second Lightning Delay Claims Contest's Final Two Minutes

Sophomore Stella Spotts begins Summit's transition from defense to offfense in the Hilltoppers 13-8 Group 2 Sectional Title victory over Chatham. Credits: Robert Moriarty

SUMMIT, NJ - Five goals from junior Sara Szynal, and a Hat Trick from freshman Helen Johnson helped propel the Summit High School Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team to 13-8 triumph over Chatham, giving the Hilltoppers the Group 2 State Sectional Title.

Summit will now face Rumson-Fair Haven in the Group Final May 30 at Kean University, with a berth in the Tournament of Champions on the line. Game time is set for 4 p.m.

The Hilltoppers never trailed in the game, jumping out to a 2-0 lead early on a pair of goals from Johnson, both supplied by assist maven Maggie Moriarty. Chatham halved the lead but, as they did the entire day, Summit would answer a Cougar tally with one or more goals of their own, maintaining the lead and often adding to it.

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Isabel Zachara took a pass from Szynal to make it 3-1 then, after Chatham's second goal, Szynal, Catherine Cordrey, and Szynal again made it 6-2 with just over three minutes remaining before the break.

Ahead 6-3 in the second half, the teams traded scores, with the Hilltopper lead never dipping below a three-goal margin. Cordrey, Szynal's third and fourth of the game, Julia Persche from a free-position opportunity, and Szynal's fifth -- surrounded two Chatham tallies --  and made it 11-5.

The lead reached 13-6 when Cordrey found Johnson for her Hat Trick goal, followed by Callie Humphrey taking the draw, blazing goalward and scoring, before two late Cougars goals led to the final score line.

Two lightning delays caused the teams to leave the field with under three minutes remaining, the second such stoppage -- coming with 2:14 left on the clock -- caused the game to be called official and ended.

Kady Glynn finished the day with six saves in goal for the Hilltoppers, including several in the game's opening minutes that helped Summit set the tone. Bridget Ballard led Chatham with four goals, and Maggie O'Neill scored twice for the Cougars.

"I thought we showed grit today," said Summit Head Coach Mike Walsh. "We came out and established a lead that we didn't let go -- which is important against a team like Chatham that will always fight us hard.  It was nice, as well, for our seniors to walk away winners in the their last game on our field."

For additonal, exclusive game photos, visit TAPinto Summit's Facebook page.

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