Somerville, Chatham contend for Group 2
NJSIAA GROUP 2 LACROSSE CHAMPIONSHIP
At Ridge High
SOMERVILLE (18-1) VS. CHATHAM (15-7)
SEEDS: Somerville 1, Chatham 2
MSG VARSITY POWER RANKING: Somerville 7, Chatham 13
TITLE CHASE: Both schools seek their first group championship.
Somerville has won three straight games since a 12-4 loss to No. 1 Bridgewater-Raritan in the Somerset County Tournament semifinal. Kyle Lieb made 13 saves in the game, but his club could not tame Bridgewater's prodigious firepower.
Chatham has won four straight since a 10-9 loss to Kinnelon in the Morris County Tournament semifinal. The Cougars carried a 7-4 lead into the fourth quarter, but lost, 10-9.
HOW THEY REACHED HERE
Somerville beat Seneca, 11-4, behind the playmaking of junior attackman Matt Raposo (five goals, three assists) and the defensive play of Chris Contino, Mike Dimino, Pat Grega and Randy Maroney. Senior goalie Kyle Lieb made seven saves in the game and has 28 in three tournament games while allowing just eight goals.
Chatham defeated Hopewell Valley, 7-2, in the semifinals on Saturday behind the second straight three-goal performance by sophomore David Gill and an overpowering defensive effort led by Thomas Stephan, Will Weichert and Chris Peters.
LAST YEAR'S ROAD
Somerville fell to Summit, 15-2, in the Group 2 semifinals. The Pioneers had advanced to that stage with an 8-7 overtime win over Mendham.
Chatham slugged it out with Summit for the Group 2 title in one of the most exciting and well-executed games in tournament history. Current Chatham senior Kyle Howard-Johnson tied the game at 6-6 with 5:21 to go in regulation and the teams battled through a fifth overtime before Summit broke the deadlock with 2:26 remaining.
NUMBERS: Somerville averages 12.4 gpg. and allows 3.26. Chatham averages 9.0 gpg. and allows 5.1.
MORE NUMBERS: Somerville has been limited to single digits in only three games this season and produced a season-high 19 goals twice. Chatham's defense has allowed double digits just three times and has held seven opponents to under three goals.
Somerville toppled Pingry, 12-4, in the Somerset County Tournament quarterfinals May 9 to reach the semifinals for the first time. Logan LeBlond banged in five goals and Matt Raposo had two goals and three assists to spark the offense. Mike Dimino was one of several defensive standouts that game.
Chatham edged Delbarton, 5-, on April 10 for its first-ever victory over the Green Wave. Thomas Guida hit the game-winning goal off a feed by Kyle Howard-Johnson with 7:13 to play and Corey Fritts made seven saves in the game.
Somerville: Matt Raposo, Sr. A (46 goals, 47 assists); Logan LeBlond, So. A (41-28); Casey McAdam, Jr. M (16-22, faceoff); Chris Contino, Jr. D; Mike Murphy, Sr. LSM; Kyle Lieb, Sr. G; Michael Waterfield, Jr. M (29-11); Jared DeLouisa, So. M (22-3); Mike Dimino, So. D; Pat Grega, So. D; Randy Maroney, Jr. D; Alex Karlis, Sr. M (13-7); Joe Murphy, Jr. A (12-6); Eric Dluhy, Fr. LSM.
Chatham: Thomas Stephan, Sr. D; Kyle Howard-Johnson, Sr. A (40-10); Sam Carson, Jr. A (26-33); Corey Fritts, Sr. G; David Gill, So. M (25-6, faceoff); Owen Hewes, Jr. D; Matt Proto, Sr. M (18-14); Joey Ritter, Jr. A (18-9); Thomas Guida, So. A (14-17); Chris Peters, Jr. LSM; Corey Heidaran, Sr. M (12-0); Cristofe Strunc, Jr. M (12-2); Trip Connors, Jr. M (faceoff); Matt Babakian, Sr. M.
Mike Kinney covers boys lacrosse for MSG Varsity. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeKinneyHS