SUMMIT, NJ - One can easily deduce that standards are high when, after finding his team ahead at halftime 8-1, the coach states that his team needed to work on their shooting.
Such is the case with the Summit High School Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team. Playing a game -- but frankly outgunned -- Montclair squad, the Hilltoppers certainly created a ton of chances in the first 25 minutes, but their finishing was not up to the level they will need when tackling the myriad tough and elite opponents that lie around the corner and down the road.
It would be remiss not to give credit to Montclair goalie Maggie Bigelow as well, as she racked up a slew of saves, many of which were big-time impressive.
Whatever technical advice and adjustments Head Coach Mike Walsh gave his team at the break, things began clicking, the goals coming fast and furious early in the second half, and Summit went on to claim a more-than-comfortable 18-3 win.
Senior captains Julia Persche and Sara Szynal had four goals each, with senior attack Maggie Moriarty and Isabel Zachara, and junior Cecily Stabler all notching a pair.
Persche scored 30 seconds into the game and, after less than 10 minutes, it was 5-0 and could have been double that if not for the stellar work of the Mounties' Bigelow. The lead was 7-0 before Mpntclair got on the board, and the half ended 8-1 after a tally from freshman Julia Szynal.
The Maroon & White exploded out of the blocks in the opening stages of the second half to end whatever drama -- which is to say none -- there was remaining. Five goals in six-plus minutes made it 13-1, and Walsh continued the aggressive pattern of player rotation he began in the first half. Amy Martino entered the game in goal midway through the stanza, relieving starter Maddie Collins, who made 8 saves.
Also scoring for Summit were senior captain Catherine Cordrey, Samantha Forsyth, and Mary Fischetti, who notched her first goal of the season.
"I am pleased that we are running and working hard," said Walsh. "That is the best goalie we have faced this season, she was aggressive, coming out and challenging our shooters. We talked about it at halftime and made some adjustments."
The Hilltoppers, now 3-0, will next play Smithtown West, NY, on the Upper Turf Field at Summit High School April 9 at 11 a.m.. Then, it's two "Hilltop Derby" games, the first -- April 12 on the Upper Turf Field at 4 p.m. -- is a rematch of the 2015 TOC Final against Oak Knoll School, followed by Summit making the six-tenths of a mile journey to take on Kent Place School April 14 at 4 p.m.
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