Chatham celebrates their North, Group 2 sectional championship over Summit.
Callan Murray's teammates congratulate her after her 100th career varsity goal.
Callan Murray of Chatham fires in a shot as she is being defended by Summit's Kate Martino and Anna Baumeister.
Kate Murphy of Chatham looks over her options behind the Summit net.
Caroline Cordrey of Summit fires a shot past Chatham goaltender Hannah Reader.
Caroline Cordrey of Summit handles the ball behind the Chatham cage.
Chatham Girls' Lacrosse Team Overpowers Summit 21-8 to Capture Third Consecutive Sectional, Group Title; Leto, Murray Reach Scoring Milestones
Thursday, May 24, 2012 • 10:32pm
CHATHAM, NJ – It was certainly a monumental Thursday afternoon at Haas Field for the Chatham Lady Cougars (21-2). They not only defeated one of their arch rivals in the Summit Hilltoppers (14-5) for the second time this season to capture the NJSIAA North, Group 2 title for the third year in a row, but two of their top offensive players set individual records as well.
Senior midfielder Jaclyn Leto had a team 98 goals on the season coming in and was able to surpass the 100 goal mark by netting four against Summit.
Kallan Murray, a senior attack, set a personal record herself as she netted two goals in an effort to reach 100 goals in her three year varsity career.
“I was freaking out. Jaclyn’s came first and I knew that Kallan was working so hard for it. When Jaclyn’s came first, I was like ‘All right let’s go. One down and one to go,’” senior midfielder Kelsey Perselay, who led her squad with six goals, said of the accomplishments.
“Nothing can compare, especially in a game like this, getting your 100th. I’m so happy for them. It’s a huge milestone,” she added.
Although Leto and Murray knew coming in that they had a chance to set personal records, they also were aware that it would take a total team effort to defeat the reigning Union County champions in Summit.
That is exactly what propelled Chatham, who had themselves won the Morris County title earlier in the season and came in with an 18 game winning streak, to a 10-5 lead at halftime and as much as a 14 goal lead in a second half that, for a lack of a better word, they dominated.
“It’s great. This was one of our goals coming into the season and I think we all just worked really hard and had a lot of heart today,” Leto told The Alternative Press. “It’s just a really good feeling to win by that much in our last home game.”
The first half was fairly even from a possession standpoint, but then Chatham took firm control in that category in the final 25 minutes of play. Perselay helped control the first ten face-offs in the second half that were scooped up by the likes of Kate Murphy, Lauren Maiorano, Brittany Marriot and others.
That led to an onslaught of goals that put a somewhat competitive game at halftime out of reach. Murphy scored three times, Mary-Kate O’Neill and Perselay added two and Maiorano and Murray had a goal apiece as part of a nine goal surge through a period of less than 15 minutes to open up the second.
“We knew; the new half, we were like, ‘new beginning,’ we said to ourselves,” Murray commented. “Especially with a team like Summit, no lead is a safe lead. At this point in the state tournament, all it is, is about heart and hustle. We were like, ‘we want this more.’ We just went with it,” she added.
For Summit, ranked ninth in the Star Ledger Top Twenty, they put forth a quite effort coming out against the third ranked team in the state.
After a few Chatham turnovers, Caroline Cordrey, Summit’s leading scorer this season, took advantage by firing in a shot from the slot, despite being harassed by a number of defenders, to give the away team the early 1-0 lead.
Perselay scored the next of the contest a few minutes later, but then Summit came right back when Anna Baumeister controlled the ensuing draw. The ball eventually wound up on Devin Lawler’s stick as she connected on a free try to once again give Summit a one goal cushion.
Megan Paytas would score at the 15:19 mark of the first to draw the game even at three apiece as it appeared the sectional title would be settled in an intense, back and forth contest.
However, after that, Chatham would was able to find some offensive consistency as they scored eight out of the final ten goals of the opening frame.
“The first half was a little more scrappier. They (Summit) came out really strong and I think we just knew, even if we got down, we would be able to come back and just be able to play our game. We were able to compose ourselves and kind of take the momentum,” Leto commented.
With the win, Chatham advances to the NJSIAA Group 2 championship for the fourth time in five years. They will face Red Bank Catholic, winners of the South, Group 2 title, on Thursday, May 31st at Hunterdon Central High School at a time to be announced.
Leto’s 100th of the season came on a shot from the left slot that was assisted by Murray with 2:53 left in the first half to make the score 9-4.
Murray’s 100th career varsity goal came off a free try from the slot that put Chatham up 20-6 at the time.