BRIDGEWATER TWNSP., NJ - Like a massive storm looming in the distance, darkening and then moving closer -- seemingly - by the second, one could see this coming a mile away. This would be a potential demolition of their opponent -- Morristown-Beard -- by the Summit High School Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team in the Tournament of Champions quarterfinals at Bridgewater-Raritan High School.
True to forecast, the wrath of The 'Top's nature came with a vengeance, and although the sixth-seeded Crimson took cover, the damage was swift and decisive. Third-seeded Summit built a 9-1 first quarter lead and keep storming, upping the advantage to 14-1 at the half en route to a 16-3 victory and a berth in the TOC semifinals.
There, on June 5, the Hilltoppers -- now 17-2 on the season -- will face second-seeded Mountain Lakes at Kean University. Face-off is set for 5 p.m.
Sophomore Luke Dinola led the scoring deluge with five goals and, all told, 10 Hilltoppers found the back of the net. Senior starting goalie Tyler Hadley play a half before giving way to junior Owen McTernan, who was subsequently spelled by sophomore Charlie Milne-Holme and sophomore Will Zipf,
The first five-minutes was a microcosm of the Maroon and White macroburst, as Summit scored in flurries, including a triumvirate of tallies in a span of 26 seconds -- two of which came six seconds apart. The goals were coming at such a rapid rate that Summit fans were likely concerned whether the expert thumbs at @HilltopLax could keep up with the frenetic pace of posting scoring updates on the Twitter feed without injuring themselves (they were successful).
Senior captain Greg Moller and classmate Gray Humphrey scored 47 apart early to make it 2-0. Then Dinola bagged four of the next five markers -- sandwiching two pair around a goal by senior captain Jackson Tyler -- and it was 7-zip. Sophomore Michael Bonomo and senior captain Skyler Schluter got Summit's eighth and ninth tallies, respectively, with Morristown-Baird's lone answer coming from Luke Smith.
Hard to believe that wholesale substitutions began in the second quarter of a TOC game, but they did. Mixing in a bunch of new faces -- Summit Head Coach played a remarkable 44 players in the game -- the Hilltoppers didn't skip a beat, potting five more goal in the second stanza to take a 13-goal lead to the break. Moller (his second), senior Charlie Collins, Dinola (his fifth), junior John Fischetti, and sophomore Jim Persche all hit twine.
No shocker here, but the halftime stats were, well, telling. Summit had a humongous edge in face-offs )15-2), shots (19-3), and ground balls (12-5).
The second half featured a merciful running clock, even more Summit substitutions, and no-quit effort from the Crimson up through the final horn. The Hilltoppers got goals from Fischetti and sophomore Hunter Schluter, while Morristown-Baird saw Smith and Carn Fernandez score.
Now, but four elite teams remain standing in the world of Garden State prep lacrosse, and Summit will face one of them in 'Lakes. "They are a veteran team that is well coached," said Davidson. "They don't have many weaknesses. We are going to have to play well in all aspects of the game."