Summit girls’ lacrosse – for 3rd straight year – 1 victory away from ultimate championship; TOC title game is June 11 at Kean

State's top-ranked Group 3 champion Hilltoppers, who are undefeated against all in-state competition, will face Group 4 champ Ridgewood in their third straight final

The Summit girls’ lacrosse team knows what it takes to win state championships.

The Hilltoppers won the Group 3 crown for the first time this season and became only the second school in New Jersey to capture four consecutive state titles.

However, the ultimate championship has still eluded Summit. That’s the Tournament of Champions crown.

After falling in the semifinals to Shawnee 13-12 in overtime in 2013, Summit reached the final for the first times in 2014 and 2015.

Two years ago in the final at Bridgewater-Raritan, the Hilltoppers – after leading at the half – fell to South Jersey power Moorestown 8-6.

Summit was able to exact a bit of revenge in this year’s Group 3 final, topping Moorestown 15-6 at Kean. It was Summit’s first win over Moorestown since a 6-5 triumph in the 1999 state final at Rutgers, before there was a TOC.

In last year’s TOC final at Kean, Summit had its heart broken again, falling this time to in-town rival Oak Knoll 11-10.

Now Summit (23-1) is preparing to face Group 4 champion Ridgewood (20-2) in the June 11, 5 p.m., final at Kean.

Both top-seeded Summit and second-seeded Ridgewood posted convincing semifinal victories Wednesday at Monmouth University, with Summit first taking out Group 2 champion and third-seeded Rumson-Fair Haven 10-4 before Ridgewood ousted repeat Group 1 winner and fourth-seeded Oak Knoll 11-6.

Summit, now on a season-high 12-game winning streak since its only defeat to St. Stephens-St. Agnes of Virginia 13-10 at home back on April 30, scored the game’s final six goals against Rumson-Fair Haven after the Group 2 champs tied the game at 4-4 with 15 minutes to go.

Netting those six goals for the Hilltoppers were Helen Johnson two and Samantha Forsyth, Callie Humphrey, Catherine Cordrey and Julia Persche one.

Standout senior Sara Szynal, who will continue playing in the Big 10 conference at Northwestern, paced the Hilltoppers with a five-goal effort vs. Moorestown.

Katie Bourque led Ridgewood with four goals and one assist in its TOC semifinal win over Oak Knoll.

Bourque missed the final 14 minutes of last year’s 6-5 TOC semifinal loss to Summit after receiving her second yellow card.

Ridgewood began its season 5-0 and then lost two straight, the second defeat coming at Summit 9-8 back on April 20. The Maroons have won 15 straight since.

Summit goalie Maddie Collins made a save of a shot by Ridgewood’s Alex Absey with 20 seconds left to keep the Hilltoppers ahead for good.

Szynal paced Summit that game with four goals, while Humphrey had two and Maggie Moriarty, Cordrey and Johnson one. Persche had two assists.