SUMMIT, NJ – Like the flamingos that sprout each spring on the lawns of Summit High School graduating seniors, the Rumson / Fair Haven varsity lacrosse team strutted into Tatlock field sporting hot pink warm up jerseys to honor Breast Cancer Awareness.
But, after 4 periods of play, the powerful Summit Boys Lacrosse team didn’t leave them a leg to stand on.
Summit scored 3 goals in quick succession within the opening 4 minutes of play. The “killer” combination of Nick Kilkowski and Austin Carbone broke open the game including a straight-in goal from Carbone on a Rumson turnover at midfield.
Rumson was not cowed by the Hilltoppers and answered back with their first goal by Michael Clarke on a Summit man down penalty with 7:05 remaining in the first quarter. David Kalin, a senior captain scored for Summit capitalizing on a tight Rumson defense that temporarily let up on the formidable Summit offense. Summit missed a couple man-up opportunities in the first period but not before junior Michael Badgley had a brilliant dance down the sidelines to keep the ball in play under withering double up coverage.
The second period saw Kilkowski score once and 3 more goals from #8 Austin Carbone on feeds from Badgley, and junior Matt Maier with 3 seconds remaining. Rumson’s own #8 Michael Clarke had his second of what would be four goals for the game on a straight in shot from 15 yards out to leave Summit with a 8 – 2 lead at the half.
Rumson Head Coach Reid Jackson must have fired up his team during the break because a re-energized Rumson offense came out and scored 2 goals in short order. One on a man-up Summit penalty and the second a dramatic blocked clear by Summit goalie Alex Salazar which Jack Curran, one of Rumson’s leading scorers this year, converted to pull within 5 goals.
The final quarter opened with Summit ahead 13 – 5.
Still, this Rumson team was used to claw back, come from behind situations. Jack Curran scored again on a rare break down of the Summit defensive coverage and then had an open field pass to Clarke for a clean net goal. With the scoreboard reading 13 to 7 a boisterous Rumson bench offered a stark contrast to the taut, restrained Hilltopper sideline. Never a team to take anything for granted, Summit controlled the ball for the last several minutes of play and showed once again their trademark focus.
Junior Will Shamim said the defense tried to “focus on locking down their offense to take away the top-side opportunities”. Captain and midfielder Tommy Celmer was unstoppable in the alleys. “The middies just kept looking for openings so we could swing the ball out and feed our attack.”
Austin Carbone when asked how the team will prepare for the Group 1 finals this week said “the guys in practice are what keep us sharp and constantly improving. They play us harder than any opponent.”
Summit meets Glen Ridge on Wednesday for the Group 1 finals and a ticket to the New Jersey State Tournament of Champions in June.