SUMMIT, NJ - Joe McHale scored five goals, as Seton Hall Prep -- capitalizing on Hilltopper turnovers -- built a big first half lead on their way to 13-9 win over the Summit High School Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team.
The Pirates took control of the game in the opening quarter, taking a 2-0 lead which eventually grew to 4-1. The lone Hilltopper goal was scored by Riley Flynn at the 3:44 mark.
Summit (10-3 on the season) was getting scant possession as they were turning the ball over in transition and during the infrequent times they actually did have the ball. That trend, which reared its head during their loss against Westfield April 25, continued in the second quarter, which was -- if not carbon copy-like -- essentially similar to the opening twelve minutes.
After Chris Zanelli narrowed the lead to 4-2 on a man-up goal at the 10:23 mark, the Pirates went on a four-goal tear to make it 8-2. John Cordrey's goal inside the quarter's last minute made the deficit five, and Corey McManus nearly added another, but hit the crossbar in the half's final seconds.
If Summit was to get back into the game in the second half, it was going to have grab the super-majority of possession time, win ground balls, and simply compete and execute at a much higher level.
The Hilltoppers third quarter performance was markedly improved, but they still lost the frame 4-3, and trailed heading into the fourth, 12-6. After yielding a Seton Hall goal, Summit scored back-to-back goals, from Cordrey and Evan Kulpan, to trim the lead to 9-5.
Sensing a push and potent run from their opponent, Seton Hall responded with a pair of goals that dialed down the drama factor and, after Drew Mulholland scored to make it 11-6, Prep scored again with just nine seconds left in the third.
Although they fell behind 13-6 a half-minute into the fourth, Summit did not quit, and played their best 12 minutes of the game. Goals by McManus, Cordrey's third, and McManus again showed a fighting spirit and made the score line more respectable.
Summit's enhanced second-half performance actually won them the ground ball battle on the day, 19-11, and goalie Jay Winchell was credited with five saves in the game. Winchell's counterpart, the Pirates' Colin Kirst, had nine saves.
"We lost the possession battle in the first half, but credit to Seton Hall. they moved the ball quickly, and they some very good shooters who finished their chances," said Summit Head Coach Jim Davidson. "The good news is that we battled back, and we will continue working hard to improve."
Next Game / Next Home Game: May 2 - Old Bridge, 3 p.m.
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