CHATHAM, NJ - The Summit High School Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team's offense, which began brightly and then went dormant for a stretch of more than 31 minutes-- nearly 65% of the game itself -- sprang to life in the fourth quarter, scoring four straight goals and propelled the Hilltoppers past Chatham 7-5 at Cougar Field.
Sophomore Michael Bonomo had two goals -- the final pair of Summit scores in the contest -- as six different members of the Maroon and White found the back of the net. Senior Tyler Hadley made five saves as Summit improved to 6-0 on the season while inflicting the second loss of the season on the Cougars.
The 'Top played a textbook opening 12 minutes, blending stout defense with a trio of scores -- from senior captain Skyler Schluter, classmate Charlie Collins and sophomore Luke Dinola -- to take a 3-0 lead. The luster on the gem of a first quarter quickly faded, however, as the Chatham clapped back with their own trifecta of tallies from Danny Mahoney, Aidan Decker and Mason Agostinelli to tie the game 3-3. A fourth home goal inside the half's final 10 seconds was disallowed due a Cougar being judged to be in the crease.
With their offense looking a bit halting and hesitant, Summit relied on its defense to hold the fort and, even though they allowed a third-quarter goal from Chatham's Patrick Conte, the deficit -- despite the offensive drought reaching two full quarters -- was just a goal heading to the final frame.
The ignition switch was flipped when junior John Fischetti slashed to the front of the cage from the left side and took a pass from Bonomo and, while cutting to his right at the right post, flipped the ball over his right shoulder -- and behind his back -- and beat Chatham's Trey Von Heill near post.
Fischetti's finish with flair electrified the Hilltopper bench and the boys from the 07901 then transferred that to the playing field, ripping off a string of three more goals to take the lead and finish the deal. Senior captain Jackson Tyler, then Bonomo's double-dip of delight made it 7-4 and, even though Chatham got one back with 27 seconds left, it was way too little way to late.
The Hilltoppers outshot Chatham 22-15, halved the face-off battle 8-8, and were shaded by the Cougars in ground balls 15-14.
"We made some mental mistakes and turned the ball over, and we were a little tight offensively moving the ball" said Summit Head Coach Jim Davidson, adding, "But our offense settled and we began to get some opportunities."
Summit continues its tough stretch of games -- a quartet of contests that sees them play Chatham, Westfield, Delbarton and Seton Hall Prep back-to-back-to-back-to-back -- when it hosts the Blue Devils April 17 at Tatlock Park. Face-off is set for 4 p.m.