SUMMIT, NJ - Fans coming to the Upper Turf Field looking for -- or perhaps even expecting -- the Summit High School Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team to metaphorically knock-out neighboring Chatham probably left disappointed. What they got instead was a tussle that literally went down to the final minutes before the Hilltoppers won 'on points'.
The Maroon and White got four goals from junior Katia Carnevale and Hat Tricks from senior captain Helen Louise Johnson and junior Anna Huntley-Robertson and needed those tallies and more to edge Chatham 13-11. The victory ups Summit's 2018 record to 7-1.
Page Guenther paced the Cougars' attack with four goals, with Frances Workman and Grace Coe each netting a pair of scores. Kat Friday had 12 saves in goal.
The game's tone was set in a first-half that saw Summit have a window to take control but the home team never quite did and, as a result, Chatham hung around and nearly hung an 'L' on the Hilltoppers. A big part of the Cougars' first-half resiliency was goalie Friday who, early on, looked like she was going to own a day she shares a name with.
Friday made eight first-half stops, the majority of the them in the first 15 minutes of the affair, and Summit led -- but just by a single goal at 4-3 -- with 9:36 to go in the half.
Back-to-back goals by Huntley-Robertson 36 seconds apart made it 6-3 Summit and it looked like the Hilltoppers were poised to make a run, but Chatham clawed back a pair of scores separated by two minutes when Hayley Riabov and Emilie DeKeyzer found the back of the net.
The team's traded goals over the final four minutes of the half, with Hilltopper senior captain Anna Turk and Chatham's Guenther scoring, and Summit took a 7-6 lead to the break.
The girls from the 07901 scored four of the second half's first five goals and it, again, looked like they had a grip on the game, leading 11-7. Huntley-Robertson, Carnevale, and junior Julia Szynal were on the business-end of the respective efforts.
Of note, Szynal's goal seemed a emotion-enhancer and momentum changer, coming 19 seconds after Carnevale had scored and resulting from a gritty ground ball win by sophomore Sophie Zachara, who scooped up the rock and then fed Turk,who, in-turn, found a streaking Szynal who finished with authority.
But, there was still nearly 18 minutes left and Chatham had a lot left.
Winning draws and owning the ball for the next four minutes, the Cougars scored on their next three shots and suddenly it was 11-10 and Summit looked wobbly.
Johnson scored on a lefty rip at the 12:39 mark to bump the lead back to a deuce at 12-10, but Chatham came right back at 9:19 to narrow it down to one again.
Carnevale scored with 6:31 left to make it 13-11 and Summit was able to get generate a couple of long possessions over the final minutes -- including playing 'keep away' for virtually the final three minutes -- to run out the clock.
"Chatham came ready to play and we could have finished better early in the game," said Summit Head Coach Mike Walsh. "Their goalie kept them in the game long enough for them to threaten us."
Summit now travels to Cold Spring Harbor to take on Garden City April 21. Game time is set for 5 p.m.