Summit LAX Dreams Crash on the Shoals of a Green Wave
Wednesday, June 6, 2012 • 9:28pm
UNION, NJ – Some sports rivalries transcend the game. Such is the case with Summit and Delbarton boys’ lacrosse teams.
In fact this rivalry is more than that … it’s personal.
There was a time in New Jersey boys’ lacrosse when Delbarton was expected to win every game, just as they did in April 2009 when they beat Summit in the season opener. That was the last time the Green Wave bested the Hilltoppers, before tonight.
2009 was also the year when a handful of talented Summit eight graders transferred to Delbarton and took what they had learned over several years from the Summit Lacrosse Club for what they thought were “greener” pastures. And then in June 2009 Summit beat Delbarton at Rutgers for the State Championship.
Last year at Kean University, Summit beat Delbarton in the Tournament of Champions semifinals 10 - 5.
So today’s game was about settling some long standing grudges.
In the end, Delbarton’s smothering defense and sharp offensive game was too much for Summit to overcome.
Delbarton junior Kevin Lewis scored first at 10:40 left in the first period on an assist from senior Cole Riccardi. From the start, Summit attackman Nick Kilkowski was blanketed by no fewer than 3 Delbarton players anytime he got the ball.
But the story of the first 2 periods was one of turnovers, forced and otherwise.
Capitalizing, Sean Donnelly, one of the Green Wave’s leading scorers dropped in his first of what would be two goals to give Delbarton a 2 to 0 lead at the end of 12 minutes.
The second quarter saw more fast paced play and 3 additional Delbarton goals including 2 withering shots by Summit resident and Duke bound junior John Schaffer. Schaffer’s goal with 6:57 left in the half would be the last for the Morristown team. Three of their goals were on well leveraged, man up situations.
Summit’s huge, dedicated student and fan base would not let their boy’s spirits flag. A sea of white shirts and red bandannas rallied the hearts and soul of the LAX squad to open the final 2 periods of play.
The third period saw a shift in momentum as Summit dominated possession and ramped up their shots on goal. Finally, junior Austin Carbone sneaked in from behind the goal on a quick flip from Thomas Lackaye to post Summit’s first goal and make the game 5-1.
As ominous storm clouds gathered on the horizon and flashes of lightening threatened, more than a few Summit fans thought that lightning may strike again with a Summit rally.
But it was not meant to be.
Delbarton played keep away offense and when either Carbone or Kilkowski had the ball, they doubled, tripled or quadrupled the coverage of Summit’s leading scorers.
The uniquely vocal Delbarton student body made sure everyone knew the result as the clock wound down and Delbarton advanced to the Tournament of Championship game for the first time since 2009.
As the crowd headed out, senior James Berkman, a Delbarton senior and Summit resident was overheard saying “Well, Summit’s season may be over but Summit lacrosse goes on forever.”
The lesson was clear, both winning and losing with dignity is its own reward. And this rivalry is far from over.