RIDGEWOOD, NJ - It didn't have the gravity of the match between these two teams nine-plus months ago, but the Summit High School Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team's early-season trip to Ridgewood could provide a foreshadowing of girl's New Jersey LAX things to come or, at minimum, give observers a current status report on the state of last year's Tournament of Champions finalists.
Here what was learned from Ridgewood 7-4 victory over the Hilltoppers:
Ridgewood is experienced.
Ridgewood is really good.
Summit was taught some lessons and got some very valuable experience, which should pay dividends down the road -- the Hilltoppers short-term pain should equate to long-term gain.
Maddie Collins hasn't forgotten how to 'stand on her head'.
Another factoid that matters -- even though it wasn't discovered yesterday but, rather, has been around for LAX eternity -- is "The games in May and June matter a heckuva lot more than the games in April."
More than half of the first half was already played before Ridgewood Catherine Roxas scored. The goal seemed to end the 'shadow boxing' portion of the match as the teams started throw punches -- in the form of goals -- about a 60 seconds after each other's tallies.
Anna Turk scored for Summit less than minute later to tie the game, and the Maroons went back in front through Alex Absey with just over eight minutes left in the half.
Fifty-nine seconds after Absey found the back of the net, Sophomore Katia Carnevale, off a pass from Turk, tied the contest at 2-2 at the 6:18 mark.
Abbey's second made it 3-2 with 4:36 left in the half and, true to the game's form so far, junior Emily Paytas leveled for The Maroon & White 59 seconds later.
Ridgewood then went to a girl named Kloak to supply the half's dagger.
Lily Kloak scored two goals, the last coming with .5 seconds to go in the half, and the home side went to the break on a big uptick that emotionally felt stronger than just a 5-3 lead.
In the second half, Ridgewood put the Hilltoppers in their rear-view mirror with two goals from Chelsea Trattner, the second off a nice assist from Cloak, and it was 7-3.
Senior Anna DiSibio scored for Summit with 8:11 left, but Ridgewood was able to gain possession and drain the clock for most of the game's final 10 minutes.
The loss cannot mask a strong performance by senior captain Collins, who was credited with 10 saves - several of which were of the five-star variety.
"We are relatively inexperienced and it showed in the game today at crucial times," said Summit Head Coach Mike Walsh.
The Hilltoppers will return to action April 3 when they travel to West Morris Mendham. The game is set for 4:30 p.m.