Chatham, Mountain Lakes rally to win Group titles

Morriscountylacrosse

Trip Connors won 10 of 11 second-half draws and Chatham rallied from a 7-2 halftime deficit to defeat Somerville 10-8 and capture the NJSIAA Group II state tournament title in a contest at Ridge High School.

Thomas Guida had four goals and one assist, David Gill scored twice and Sam Carson, Dan Marotta, Chet McLaughlin and Christof Strunc also scored goals for the Cougars. It is the second consecutive year Chatham has topped Somerville. Last year, the Cougars edged the Pioneers, 8-6.

Chatham rallied to score eight of the game’s last nine goals. The Cougars chipped away to make it an 8-5 contest after three quarters. Guida scored 39 second into the final period to make it a two-goal game. A few minutes later he found McLaughlin, an attackman, cutting to the net to make it 8-7.

Carson tied the game with an unassisted goal off a bouncing shot with 8:23 left. Just under a minute later it was Christof Strunc who gave Chatham its first lead since the opening period. Gill scored his second goal with 5:55 left. Good defense and strong possession made the lead hold up. Goalkeeper Robbie Coe finished with eight saves for the Cougars (19-4). Matt Raposo scored four goals for Somerville (18-3).

Group I

Mountain Lakes 8, Rumson-Fair Haven 6

Zach Lesko scored twice including the go-ahead goal with 5:02 remaining to help the Lakers to their 10th NJSIAA state tournament title in school history and their first Group I title since 2008.

Sam Walsh was the catalyst. The Mountain Lakes face-off midfielder won 12 of 18 draws including 8 of 12 in the second half to give the Lakers the possessions they needed to hold off the pesky Rumson Bulldogs in the contest held on the turf at Livingston High School.

The Lakers (17-5) had balanced scoring. Spencer Herman had two goals including an empty-netter with 1:02 left to provide an insurance goal. Mike Sammarro added two goals and defenseman Evan Bernstein and Chris Sammarro also had single scores. Goalkeeper Jared Bernstein had seven saves to spark the Lakers’ defense.

Mountain Lakes pulled away with a 4-1 fourth-quarter effort. The teams were tied at 2-2 at the half, but Rumson pulled out to a 5-4 advantage after three quarters.

Herman made it a 6-5 game with 8:47 left in regulation but Rumson’s Colin Shea netted a goal with 6:05 left to tie the game one final time at 6-all. The Bulldogs finish at 18-4.

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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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