Boys Lacrosse: Rumson-Fair Haven's remarkable season comes to an end

The Rumson-Fair Haven boys lacrosse team after the TOC first round, 7-0, loss to Summit

The Rumson-Fair Haven boys lacrosse team after the TOC first round, 7-0, loss to Summit

The Rumson-Fair Haven boys lacrosse team knew what type of talent it had in its underclassmen ranks this season.

Despite losing a huge senior class to graduation last season, Rumson-Fair Haven overcame that and a slow start to the 2015 campaign, to have one of its best seasons in school history.

That remarkable season came to an end on Saturday night in an NJSIAA Tournament of Champions first round game as the No. 6 seed Bulldogs fell to No. 3 seed Summit, 7-0, at Bridgewater-Raritan High School.

Curran lifts Rumson to first Group I title

Curran lifts Rumson to first Group I title

“If you looked at the graduation list from last year, a lot of people counted us out this year. They didn’t know what was in stable,” Rumson-Fair Haven boys lacrosse coach Any Eastwood said. “There is a lot talent here at Rumson-Fair Haven.”

That talent enabled Rumson-Fair Haven (18-7) to overcome an 0-4 start to season as the Bulldogs reached not only the Shore Conference Tournament Final but also won an NJSIAA Sectional title and also won the school’s first NJSIAA state title.

It was that talent and senior leadership that helped the Bulldogs win 14 of their last 15 games leading up to Saturday’s night TOC first round game against Summit (19-4).

Rumson-Fair Haven wins South Group 1 title

“We got tremendous effort and desire out of the senior group. They led by example and you know we are talented in the underclassmen ranks,” Eastwood said. “As the season went along they got more and more confident and realized they could play with some good players and some good teams. That confidence carried us down the stretch.”

And that confidence led Rumson-Fair Haven to Bridgewater-Raritan High School Saturday night to face one of the best teams in the state in Summit as Rumson-Fair Haven goalie Kyle Knapp made 10 saves.

Despite losing 7-0 and giving up three goals to Andrew Chase and one goal each to John Cordery, Corey McManus, Chris Zanelli and Malcolm Feeney, the Bulldogs played a solid Summit squad to a 3-0 deficit and it was only a 4-0 deficit with 11:01 left before Summit scored three goals in the final 2:39 to make it 7-0. Summit’s Jay Winchell made three saves and the Hilltopper defense made it hard for Rumson-Fair Haven’s offense to get on a roll.

“Of course the result isn’t what we wanted. But we are very happy with our season. Next year, I believe we can do even better because we have so many good players coming up and we are only graduating six seniors this year,” Cooper Cuje said.

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