By Jim Hintelmann
WEST LONG BRANCH – While girls and boys lacrosse in the Shore area has improved each year, it still has not reached the level of the North Jersey powers.
The latest example came Saturday, May 31, when Red Bank Catholic (RBC) fell to Summit, 15-3, in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association’s (NJSIAA) Girls Group II title game. It was only a few days after the Shore’s top team, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, was beaten easily by Summit.
Saturday’s game at Monmouth University’s Kessler Field was actually closer than the final score indicated with RBC holding Summit to a 3-3 tie until late in the first half when star sophomore Sara Szynal scored two goals to give Summit a 5-3 halftime lead.
The second half was all Summit as it used its athleticism and depth to score 10 goals while holding RBC scoreless.
“I’ll be honest with you,” RBC coach Lisa Caprioni said, “they just had more depth then we did. It seemed that every time they scored or the referee blew the whistle, their coach sent three or four new players out there. We just ran out of gas.”
Summit, whose only loss was an early season setback to NJSIAA Group I runner-up Oak Knoll, had a quick start, scoring three goals in the first 5 minutes, two of them by Synal.
RBC, though, whose only other losses were a pair of games to Rumson, settled down and slowed down the tempo with the Caseys eventually tying the game on goals by Grace Fallon, Amanda Casten and Julie Krasutsky. Casten’s goal was her 100th this season
“We just wanted to take some time off the clock and not run with them,” Caprioni said.
In the second half, however, Summit tightened its defense and won 11 of the 13 faceoffs, scoring off 10 of them. Four of them were by Szynal.
“They are not only superior, skilled athletes, but they are also so deep,” said Fallon, who will be playing lacrosse at Duke next season. “They kept running fresh players out there and we just got exhausted.”
Despite the loss, it was a great season for the Caseys.
“This was an outstanding season and the seniors can walk out of there knowing that they broke the school record for wins, won four division tiles and two sectional championships. It was a great experience for them.
“My three seniors (Fallon, Casten and Maeve Cowley) brought us to places we’ve never been before,” said Caprioni, who will be faced with a rebuilding year next season.
“We’ll have only three seniors next year, but I think that we’ll still have a lot to look forward to,” she said.