Fill my eyes with that double vision
No disguise for that double vision
Ooh, when it gets through to me, it's always new to me
My double vision gets the best of me
"Double Vision" - Foreigner
CLARK, NJ - For Hilltopper Nation, it was a golden night at AL Johnson High School. Golden as in the color of hardware earned by champions.
They both had to wait a few extra days for to get their hands on the chalices -- due to some elusive scheduling presumably caused by Mother Nature -- and each took a different path to their respective throne rooms but, for the second straight year, both the Summit Varsity Girls and Boys Varsity Lacrosse Teams are coming back to the Hilltop City with Union County Championship trophies in tow, courtesy of a pair of thrilling victories.
The Summit Girls Varsity came from three goals down and then got the game-winning goal with nine seconds left to beat Oak Knoll 11-10, and the Hilltopper Boys Varsity followed that victory up with a commanding conquest of Westfield, 9-4. For the Girls, it was their tenth Union County Championship in the past 11 years while the Boys claimed their second title in as many years.
Comeback Plus Carnevale Clincher Gives Summit Girls the Crown
Twice down by three goals -- including within the first 65 seconds of the game -- the Summit High School Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team charged back each time, setting up a fantastic finish that featured senior captain Katia Carnevale scoring with nine seconds left, a goal which gave the Hilltoppers an 11-10 triumph over Oak Knoll.
The instant-classic saw Summit blitzed early, as in real early, and trail 3-0. Goals from senior captains Anna Griffith and Julia Szynal narrowed the Royals' lead to 4-2, then three Hilltopper scores -- from Szynal, Carnevale and Szynal again -- within a span of 3:30 made tied the game at 5-5.
Carnevale's second of the game made it 6-5 Summit, but Oak Knoll leveled the score and the teams went to the halftime break all even,
Sophomore Rileigh Meyer gave The 'Top a 7-6 lead early in the second half, but then then Oak Knoll went on a tear, firing four goals to take a 10-7 lead. As the sun was setting -- both literally and figuratively -- on the Hilltoppers, they dug deep and showed the character and resilience exhibited by, well, champions.
A series of defensive stops and key saves from sophomore goalie Diana D'Onfrio, along with some determined offensive execution, led to goals from Griffith, Carnevale and Griffith again. The final marker of that trifecta of tallies again knotted the game -- this time at 10-10 with 4:47 remaining.
Two more Summit nerve-tweaking stops later, the Hilltoppers had the ball with two minutes left. Holding the ball for one final shot, the Maroon and White nearly turned it over a couple of times, but they maintained possession and, inside the final 60 seconds Carnevale and her classmate and fellow captain Anna Huntley-Robertson played catch behind the goal. As the seconds evaporated, Huntley-Robertson cleared out and Carnevale made her move, curling around the left side and blasting a shot into the cage for her fourth goal of the game -- and 72nd goal of the season.
There were just nine seconds left on the clock, but there would be one last draw. Oak Knoll won it, charged in on goal and the referee spotted a foul, stopping the contest with one second left. The restart was to D'Onfrio's right, but Oak Knoll could only sling the ball on goal from an acute angle, a shot gobbled up relatively easily -- for her eighth save of the night -- by D'Onfrio, who was then gobbled up by her teammates as the horn sounded and a sea of Maroon and White came racing in to celebrate.
In addition to Carnevale's 'quad', Szynal had a Hat Trick, as did Griffith. Huntley Robertson had two assists. Riley Campbell had three goals and two assists for Oak Knoll, who also got two goal apiece from Katie Duttenhofer, Keelin Schlageter and Christy Sieber.
"I could not be more proud of this team," said Summit Head Coach Mike Walsh. "They went down by three in both the first and second halves and fought back every time. This was a real team effort and a great win against an outstanding Oak Knoll team."
Summit, now 13-3 on the 2019 campaign, returns home to the Upper Turf Field May 11 to take on Westfield. Game time is set for 10 a.m.
Boys Take Control Early, Pull Away in Second Half for Title
Junior John Fischetti had a Hat Trick, and senior captain Skyler Schluter and Sophomore Michael Bonomo each scored a pair of goals as the Summit High School Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team convincingly defeated Westfield, 9-4. Senior Tyler Hadley was strong between the pipes with seven stops, many of them coming a key, pressure points in the game.
Senior captain Greg Moller and sophomore Luke Dinola had he other Summit goals, with Dinola and defender Davis Strabley standing out among a robust true team performance by virtue of each winning several big ground balls in pivotal situations.
Summit took a 3-0 lead in the opening quarter on goals by Fischetti, Dinola and Schluter before Devon McLane got one back for Westfield. Up 4-1 in the second quarter after Moller scored on a bull run blast, the Hilltoppers got a little loose with their play and the Blue Devils took advantage, potting two goals to narrow the game to 4-3 at the half.
Cleaning up their play in the third quarter and through the end of the affair, Summit bossed the second half. Fischetti and Bonomo scored in the third for a 6-3 lead, an advantage the grew to 8-3 in the fourth after Fischetti and Schluter found the back of the net. After Westfield got their only goal of the final two stanzas, Bonomo closed out the scoring with 2:20 left.
Summit had the better of things in terms of shots (25-16) and shaded ground balls (15-14), while Westfield earned a narrow (8-7) advantage in face-offs.
"I am really proud of our team. A lot of players stepped up tonight and it was a true collective effort to get the win," said Summit Head Coach Jim Davidson. "We had a stretch in the second quarter when hit some posts, didn't finish our chances and turned it over a few times. That let Westfield get right back in the game. Once we got back to sharing the ball and looking for the best possible shot, we were able to take advantage of our possessions and regain control of the game.
Next up for Summit, now 11-2 on the season, is a tough trip to Moorestown on May 11. Face-off is set for 10 a.m.