BRIDGEWATER – Despite all of its success and winning in the past, Summit lacrosse was on its way to doing something it had never done before.
That was both the girls’ and boys’ squads winning Tournament of Champions titles on the same day.
Both got halfway there Saturday, each leading their games at intermission.
However, both opponents they went up against wanted to win just as badly and they were not at all interested in a Summit coronation of sorts.
In eerily similar fashion, the Moorestown girls’ and Delbarton boys’ came back to thwart Summit’s standout teams – both by two goals – en route to TOC championships won Saturday at Bridgewater-Raritan High School.
The crowd – one as vocal and intense as any at a packed indoor sporting event – was estimated at the time of the boys’ game by the Bridgewater-Raritan athletic director to be at least 5,000 people.
In the girls’ game which was played first, Moorestown came back from a two-goal halftime deficit to defeat Summit 8-6. Moorestown finished 26-0, extended its winning streak to 77 matches and captured a third straight TOC crown.
In the boys’ game which was played second, Delbarton came back from a one-goal halftime deficit to defeat Summit 7-5. Delbarton closed a 21-3 campaign with a six-match winning streak and won the TOC for the fourth time overall and the first time since 2006. Delbarton was also the first parochial school to win the TOC since it last won the title eight years ago, snapping a streak of seven consecutive years that a public school team captured the crown.
The Summit girls’ had an 18-match winning streak snapped and finished 20-2.
The Summit boys’ had a 21-match winning streak halted and concluded at 23-2. Summit also won 23 matches in 2010 and 2011 during its state-record 68-match winning streak.
Summit turned back Delbarton 8-7 at Delbarton back on March 29 in its second game of the season.
Here are some of the similarities from Saturday’s final lacrosse games of the season:
* Both winning teams overcame halftime deficits, led by players who scored the game-tying and winning goals.
* Moorestown overcame 2-1 and 4-3 and 5-3 deficits, sparked in the second half by University of North Carolina-bound senior midfielder Marie McCool. She was cool enough to overcome the heat in second half to score the first four goals of that stanza, including the game-tying and game-winning goals. McCool (No. 51) led all players with those four goals.
* Delbarton overcame 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 deficits, led by junior attackman Emmet Cordrey, who is the cousin of Summit junior attackman John Cordrey. Emmet scored his team-leading three goals all in the all-important third quarter for the Green Wave, who in that period outscored Summit 4-0 to come back and take the lead for good. His first goal tied the game at 3-3 and his second goal was the game-winner, giving Delbarton the lead for good at 4-3.
The Moorestown girls’ have now won New Jersey state championships 21 times now, beginning with their first in 1979.
McCool’s aggressive attacking in the second half – and ability to get the ball past Summit goalie Kady Glynn – was the catalyst for keeping the winning streak alive and eventually producing title No. 21 for the Quakers of Burlington County.
“In my 23 years of coaching Marie is the most beautiful player I’ve ever watched,” Moorestown head coach Deanna Knobloch said. “She’s so fluid and dynamic she makes it look so effortless.”
After getting a bit emotional while praising his seniors for all they did, Summit head coach Mike Walsh talked about what he felt the difference was in the second half, which Moorestown dominated time of possession for most of the 25 minutes.
“McCool and we couldn’t clear the ball,” Walsh said. “They rode the heck out of us. We knew the storm was coming.”
Summit’s Catherine Cordrey scored her only goal with 12:09 remaining to pull Summit to within 8-6. However, Moorestown was able to get right back on attack and for most of the game’s final 12 minutes the Quakers were able to hold on to the ball, passing it around quite effectively.
“Moorestown is too good and too balanced,” Walsh said. “They did a great job on the draw. My hat’s off to them.”
Summit standout sophomore midfielder-attackman Sara Szynal led the Hilltoppers with three goals, all of them coming in the first half. Junior midfielder Olivia Kelly had Summit’s other two goals.
Down 5-3 at the half, Moorestown knew it needed to increase its offensive intensity during the final 25 minutes.
“Getting possession off the draw (was the key),” Knobloch said. “It was all about possession. If you don’t have the ball you can’t score.”
A goal by junior attackman Adriana Pendino, which was her second of the game, put Moorestown in front by an 8-5 score with 13 minutes remaining. Pendino also assisted on two other goals, while senior attackman Kayla Pruitt scored the game’s first goal less than four minutes in.
“We have great respect for Summit,” Knobloch said. “In the second half we had to be patient with the ball and wait for opportunities. Our possession wears defenses down.
“To have another undefeated season is an overwhelming feeling of pride. It never gets old.”
The Summit boys’ were going for their third TOC championship and first since winning their second straight in 2010.
With only a one-goal, 5-4, double overtime loss at home to neighborhood rival Chatham back on April 1 and already a win over Delbarton in the bank, the Hilltoppers were primed to be the last team standing in New Jersey once again.
A goal by senior defenseman Matt Muller in the first quarter and goals by junior attackman John Cordrey in the second gave Summit leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2. Cordrey’s second goal – unassisted like his first – came with just 26 seconds remaining in the first half and also came right after Summit junior goalie Sam Bebout made his 11th save and fourth of the second period.
Delbarton, like the Moorestown girls’ in the game before, upped its offensive tempo and gained a larger time of possession beginning in the third quarter. Emmet Cordrey’s first goal, unassisted, tied the game at 3-3 at the 7:25 mark.
Cordrey’s second goal gave Delbarton the lead for the first time and for good, with the Green Wave ahead 4-3 with just under six minutes remaining in the third period.
Senior midfielder Jordan Dowiak’s second goal made it 5-3 and then Cordrey’s final tally, with two minutes left before the fourth quarter, put the Green Wave up 6-3.
Summit got back in the game in the fourth quarter with consecutive goals by Matt Fishetti and James Strabley to pull to within 6-5 with still 7:44 to goal.
Delbarton, seeking to halt Summit’s momentum right there, came up with a huge goal just over a minute later when senior attackman JJ McBride found the back of the net for a 7-5 Green Wave lead with 6:37 left.
Summit was able to fire several shots in the game’s final minutes. However, most of them went wide of the net.
Delbarton continued to attack and was able to run the clock out on its way to another TOC crown.
NOTES:Summit senior midfielder Jarred Ross (No. 25) had a tough game as he was hit hard twice by Delbarton players at the right of the Delbarton goal, once in the first half and once in the second. In the second quarter he was checked across the back – no penalty was called – and had to be carted off. Late in the fourth quarter he was hit in the same spot and knocked out once again. At that time Delbarton was hit with a two-minute penalty.
SUMMIT GIRLS’ LACROSSE UNDER
HEAD COACH MICHAEL WALSH:
2014: (20-2) – repeated as North Jersey, Group 2 and Group 2 champions. Won 18 straight before falling in its first TOC final. Hilltoppers won the Union County Tournament for the sixth straight season.
2013: (18-5) – won North Jersey, Group 2 sectional title and then captured program’s first Group 2 state championship in addition to reaching the TOC semifinals. Hilltoppers won the Union County Tournament for the fifth consecutive year.
2012: (14-5) – won nine straight before falling at Chatham 21-8 in the sectional final. Hilltoppers won the Union County Tournament for the fourth year in a row.
RECORD LAST 3 SEASONS: 52-12 (.813).
SUMMIT BOYS’ LACROSSE SINCE 2009:
2014: (23-2) – Group 2 state champions, 21-game winning streak,
reached third TOC championship game.
Hilltoppers won the Union County Tournament for the seventh straight season.
2013: (18-3) – Group 2 state finalists, 10-game winning streak.
Hilltoppers won the Union County Tournament for the sixth straight season.
2012: (20-2) – Group 1 state champions, reached TOC semifinals.
Started season 15-0.
Hilltoppers won the Union County Tournament for the fifth consecutive year.
2011: (23-1) – Group 2 state champs, reached TOC final third year in a row.
State-record 68-game winning streak came to an end in TOC final.
Hilltoppers won the Union County Tournament for the fourth year in a row.
2010: (23-0) Group 1 state champions, repeated as TOC winner.
Hilltoppers won the Union County Tournament for the third consecutive year.
2009: (22-1) – Group 2 state champions, won TOC for the first time,
won last 22 games.
Hilltoppers won the Union County Tournament for the second straight season.
RECORD LAST 6 SEASONS: 129-9 (.935).
2014 GIRLS’ LACROSSE TOC FINAL
SUMMIT (20-2) 5 1 – 6
MOORESTOWN (26-0) 3 5 – 8
FIRST HALF SCORING:
Moorestown leads 1-0 – Goal: Kayla Pruitt. Assist: None. Time: 21:24.
Summit ties 1-1 – Goal: Oliva Kelly. Assist: None. Time: 18:38.
Summit leads 2-1 – Goal: Sara Szynal. Assist: Meaghan Celmer. Time: 16:45.
Moorestown ties 2-2 – Goal: Adriana Pendino. Assist: None. Time: 16:26.
Moorestown leads 3-2 – Goal: Alex O’Donnell. Assist: Adriana Pendino. Time: 14:57.
Summit ties 3-3 – Goal: Oliva Kelly. Assist: None. Time: 9:49.
Summit leads 4-3 – Goal: Sara Szynal. Assist: None. Time: 8:07.
Summit leads 5-3 – Goal: Sara Szynal. Assist: None. Time: 7:29.
SECOND HALF SCORING:
Moorestown within 5-4 – Goal: Marie McCool. Assist: None. Time: 20:05.
Moorestown ties 5-5 – Goal: Marie McCool. Assist: None. Time: 18:58.
Moorestown leads 6-5 – Goal: Marie McCool. Assist: None. Time: 17:24.
Moorestown leads 7-5 – Goal: Marie McCool. Assist: Adriana Pendino. Time: 15:53.
Moorestown leads 8-5 – Goal: Adriana Pendino. Assist: None. Time: 13:00.
Summit within 8-6 – Goal: Catherine Cordrey. Assist. None. Time: 12:09.
2014 BOYS’ LACROSSE TOC FINAL
SUMMIT (23-2) 1 2 0 2 – 5
DELBARTON (21-3) 1 1 4 1 – 7
FIRST QUARTER SCORING:
Summit leads 1-0 – Goal: Matt Muller. Assist: Matt Fishetti. Time: 10:12.
Delbarton ties 1-1 – Goal: Will McCarthy. Assist: None. Time: 6:09.
SECOND QUARTER SCORING:
Summit leads 2-1 – Goal: John Cordrey. Assist: None. Time: 8:44.
Delbarton ties 2-2 – Goal: Jordan Dowiak. Assist: JJ McBride. Time: 2:21.
Summit leads 3-2 – Goal: John Cordrey. Assist: None. Time: 0:26.
THIRD QUARTER SCORING:
Delbarton ties 3-3 – Goal: Emmet Cordrey. Assist: None. Time: 7:25.
Delbarton leads 4-3 – Goal: Emmet Cordrey. Assist: None. Time: 5:58.
Delbarton leads 5-3 – Goal: Jordan Dowiak. Assist: JJ McBride. Time: 4:56.
Delbarton leads 6-3 – Goal: Emmet Cordrey. Assist: Will McCarthy. Time: 2:01.
FOURTH QUARTER SCORING:
Summit within 6-4 – Goal: Matt Fishetti. Assist: None. Time: 9:39.
Summit within 6-5 – Goal: James Strabley. Assist: Andrew Chase. Time: 7:44.
Delbarton leads 7-5 – Goal: JJ McBride. Assist: None. Time: 6:37.