UNION, NJ - It had been a couple of tries in terms of falling in the state sectional finals for the Summit girls lacrosse team.
The Lady Hilltoppers were able to cross that off their list earlier this week. And Summit did not have to wait a couple of more years to bring home a Group 2 title.
The Lady Hilltoppers took control of the Group 2 title game on Saturday and went on to a 16-11 victory over Allentown, a team that only had one loss heading into Saturday's tilt at Kean University.
"It's awesome and I'm just ecstatic," said sophomore midfielder Olivia Kelly, who had a pair of goals.
Summit now moves into the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions against a team to be determined. It could be rival Oak Knoll, which defeated Mountain Lakes, 10-9, to win the Group 1 title and move on to the STOC.
The balanced Summit offense continued to show its colors on Saturday, as junior Madeleine Gramigna led the potent Lady Hilltoppers offense with six goals. Gramigna was not even one of Summit's top scorers. "No," said Gramigna about expecting to put a lot of shots in back of the net. "I just happened to be in the middle when it happened."
Summit head coach Michael Walsh pointed out that his team's offensive balance is a big reason for its success.
"I think it just shows how unselfish the team is," said Walsh, who is in his second year as the Hilltopper's head coach.
In the first half Summit saw its 8-3 lead be cut to 8-5 at halftime. In the first minute of the second half, the Red Birds sliced the Lady Hilltoppers lead to two, 8-6.
But after that the tide turned in the game in favor of Summit.
Gramigna scored four of her goals in a nine minute period in the second half that gave Summit the 13-6 lead.
Junior attacker Meaghan Celmer started off the six goal run after Allentown went down one man.
The Red Birds' Sara Hanley was called for her second yellow card and it was also Allentown's fourth yellow card of the game that called for the team to lose a player off the field.
The ouster came with more than 22 minutes remaining in the game and giving Summit a big advantage. Another Allentown player was tossed out later after collecting a second yellow card and the Hilltoppers had a two-man advantage for the last seven minutes of the contest.
"It was a physical game. We knew they were a great team." said Kelly who added about Allentown collecting five yellow cards. "What are you going to do (about the calls)."
After scoring the first goal of the game, the Summit defense basically put Allentown's top scorer Alex Moore in check. Moore had 115 goals coming into the game. Moore had four goals, but half of those came when the game was pretty much in the hands of the Hilltoppers.
Summit head coach Michael Walsh said that he was not trying to shadow and stop Moore. "It's just not our defensive philosophy," said Walsh. "We have seven kids on defense that can handle it."
Moore scored the first goal of the game and it turned out to be the only one of two leads of the day for the Red Birds.
Junior midfielder Anna Baumiester scored 10 minutes into the game to give the Lady Hilltoppers a 3-2 lead and Summit eventually would never look back. Summit had jumped over one of the toughest hurdles against rival Chatham on Wednesday when they defeated the Lady Cougars, 9-8, in the Group 2 North state sectional title, setting up the battle with Allentown.