Chatham, Delbarton advance to MCT Final

Morriscountylacrosse

MADISON — Chatham boys lacrosse has never played in a Morris County Tournament final. Delbarton lacrosse players don’t feel like their season is complete unless they are in the county title game. Both teams made their mark by advancing in semifinal play on Saturday. The title game is scheduled for Tuesday at 7:30 at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Florham Park.

Christof Strunc scored four times and Sam Carson and Thomas Guida registered hat tricks in Chatham’s historic 12-4 victory over Mountain Lakes in the first game of a tournament doubleheader on the turf at Madison High School.

The win marks the first time in the 26-year history of the program that the Cougars have advanced to the title game. Chatham actually began as a co-op lacrosse program between sister schools Chatham Borough and Chatham Township before the schools merged into Chatham High in 1990.

The win also marks the first time that the Chatham varsity lacrosse program has beaten Mountain Lakes in school history. Two years ago, the Cougars and the Lakers met in a memorable semifinal in which Mountain Lakes prevailed on a buzzer-beating goal.

165 bl mctsemi

Chatham boys lacrosse players jump for joy after scoring another goal. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Christian Cuccinello scored two goals and Mike Sammarro and Chris Sammarro each registered a goal for the second-seeded Lakers.

Carson scored two of his goals in the first quarter to help Chatham to a 4-1 margin. The third-seeded Cougars built its advantage to 8-2 by halftime and never allowed defending champion Mountain Lakes back into the contest.

59 bl mctsemiChatham’s Sam Carson is matched stride for stride with Mountain Lakes’ defender Evan Bernstein. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

In the nightcap, a lightning delay helped Delbarton regroup and eventually defeat Kinnelon, 10-2. Grant VanFossen had two goals and two assists and Thomas Fowler and Jordan Dowiak had two goals apiece for the top-seeded and unbeaten Green Wave. Ryan O’Keefe and Brian Gnad scored early goals for the fifth-seeded Colts.

294 bl mctsemiDelbarton defenseman Will Reynolds keeps track of Kinnelon’s Brian Gnad in first-half action. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Delbarton was leading 4-2 when play was halted with 1:14 left in the second quarter. The delay, which was called at 3:05 p.m., lasted for and hour and 15 minutes as lightning flashed and the skies poured with rain. When play resumed under sunny skies, the Green Wave looked refreshed and confident. Fowler and VanFossen scored goals within a six-second span in the final 15 seconds before halftime to build Delbarton a four-goal lead and seize momentum for good.

267 bl mctsemiFace-off midfielder Austin Williams also added a goal and an assist for the Green Wave. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

In the second half, Delbarton looked solid on the offensive end. The defense did its part by not allowing Kinnelon another score.

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About mcvbb

Mark Kitchin is a boys varsity basketball writer for the Morris County New Jersey area

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