UNION – The Rumson-Fair Haven girls lacrosse team had trouble recovering from an early first half deficit and lost to Summit, 12-5, in the NJSIAA Group II state final at Kean University on Saturday evening.
The Bulldogs were seeking their first state title in school history but ran into strong Summit squad that never let up.
“We had the ball for most of the minutes in the first half. We just couldn’t capitalize. So, we were kind of making those silly passes inside when there wasn’t really a lot of space in there,” Rumson-Fair Haven coach Amy O’Keefe said. “I actually happy with (our) possession of the ball it was just that we didn’t capitalize on those minutes.”
Summit (19-4) built a 3-0 lead with 13:19 left in the first half as Sara Szynal scored two straight goals with 24:28 and 22:19 left and then Helen Johnson added a goal with 13:19 left.
Rumson-Fair Haven (23-2) got on the board with 11:01 left as Jillian Swikart converted a pass from Brittany Bruno to make it 3-1. Morgan Steinhacker added a goal with 10:50 left to cut the deficit to 3-2.
However, that is the closest that Rumson-Fair Haven would get.
Summit scored the final two goals of the first half to push its lead to 5-2 at halftime.
The Hilltoppers then scored the first and second goal of the second half to make it 7-2 with 19:08 left in the game.
“We did make a small adjustment on the offense by being a little bit more aggressive and move the ball a little bit faster and spread it out a little bit more so there was there was a little bit more space,” O’Keefe said.
But Summit’s offense was just too strong.
Maggie Jennings (8:56 left) and Elizabeth Scarrone (6:23 left) would each score a goal to cut Summit’s lead to 8-5 after Scarrone’s goal. But Summit’s offense was just too strong as the Hilltoppers scored four unanswered goals to end the game to win the state title.
Overall, Jennings led the Bulldogs with two goals, while Swikart, Steinhacker and Scarrone each scored a goal while goalie Anna Babiak made four saves.
“It was good season. I felt like we could have hung with them a bit more than we did,” O’Keefe said. “We knew what we had to do but it was just executing everything and getting the ball in the back of the net. They knew they did a good job season and to get here (the Group II state final) was a feat in itself.”
Summit’s Sara Szynal finished with five goals while Catherine Cordery had three goals and one assist.
Sherlon Christie: email@example.com