Varsity--Chatham 13 - West Morris Mendham 4
North Group 3 Final
Chatham's boys lacrosse team, ranked 15th in the NJ.com Top 20, began its season with the endgame in mind. As the Cougars first started working out in the gym in December, it did so envisioning trophies.
On Saturday, Chatham claimed the first of what it hopes will be multiple titles in its playoff run.
Senior midfielder Colin Hart scored four goals and controlled the face-off circle as top-seeded Chatham pulled away in the second half to beat sixth-seeded Mendham 13-4 in the North Jersey, Group 3 finals on Saturday at Chatham High School.
“I think from the start, day one we had one goal in mind: It was to be the last team standing at the end of the year,” Hart said. “And this is a step in the right direction, but we’ve got to keep going.”
Chatham (16-6) outscored Mendham 10-2 in the second half and registered five consecutive goals after junior midfielder Michael Ricciardi knotted the score at 3-3 for the Minutemen about 90 seconds into the third quarter.
Mendham goalie Sean Day had held Chatham at bay in the first half with nine saves before the break. Day’s work, supported by two goals from sophomore midfielder Justin Beimfohr, helped keep Mendham (12-7) within one score at halftime.
“We hit a couple pipes and we hit a couple feet, and their goalie made three or big really big saves,” Chatham coach Tony Calandra said. “I had to tell our kids, look, we’re getting what we want, let’s just stay the course and keep doing what we do everyday in practice and it’s going to work … we’ll make our run at some point.”
That run started with a goal by sophomore midfielder Nick Johnes, who reversed course and broke to his left before firing a shot past Day to go up 4-3. With the lead back in Chatham’s possession, Hart’s face-off success allowed the Cougars to continuously build on the advantage. Chatham won 17 of 20 face-offs in the game.
“(Hart is) definitely a huge, huge part of what we do,” Calandra said. “Anytime you can play well and win the face-offs as well, it just makes it that much easier for us. He’s had a great year. Hope it continues.”
Before ending Saturday, Mendham’s run to the tournament final included high-scoring wins over 11th-seeded Mount Olive, third-seeded Randolph and second-seeded Northern Highlands.
“I think a lot of guys didn’t expect Mendham to be there,” coach Mike Smith said. “And I think all season, we were very confident with our group. I think we beat everybody we were supposed to beat, I think we gave everybody our best effort.
"It was no surprise to the staff and to the guys and the people who had been following us all year that we had the potential to get to this game. ... Today it didn’t end the way we would like it, but only one team can hoist the trophy at the end of the day, and I think we gave it all our best and we got here. It’s disappointing. We’ve been saying all week and all tournament that we’re not just happy to be here, we want to freaking win and we want to compete and get after that. And I hope they take that lesson with them beyond today.”
Saturday’s championship is Chatham’s first in the North Jersey, Group 3 bracket, having previously won North Jersey, Group 2 titles in 2012, 2013 and 2016. Chatham next plays South Jersey, Group 3 champion Moorestown, ranked 11th in the NJ.com Top 20, on Wednesday.
Varsity--Chatham 13 - Cranford 6
North Group 3 Semifinal
Mason Agostinelli and Grant Webster each tallied a hat trick to lead top-seeded Chatham, No. 15 in the NJ.com Top 20, to a 13-6 win over fourth-seeded Cranford in the semifinals of the North Jersey, Group 3 tournament in Chatham.
Chatham (14-6) advances to the sectional final where it will face sixth-seeded Mendham on Saturday.
Aidan Decker added on a goal and four assists to the win.
Cole Blazek scored four goals for Cranford (18-3).
Varsity--Chatham 16 - Wayne Valley 2
North Group 3 Quarterfinal
Colin Hart had four goals to lead top-seeded Chatham, No. 15 in the NJ.com Top 20, to a 16-2 win over ninth-seeded Wayne Valley in the quarterfinals of the North Jersey, Group 3 Tournament in Chatham.
Chatham (13-6) scored 10 goals in the first period and had 11 players find the net.
Reagan Cappozoli and Tommy Moran scored for Wayne Valley (11-8).
Chatham will play the fourth-seeded Cranford in the semifinals on Wednesday.
Varsity--Chatham 17 - Fair Lawn 1
North Group 3 Sectional Tournament
Top-seeded Chatham, the No. 15 team in the NJ.com statewide top 20, got four goals and two assists from Aidan Decker in a 17-1 win over 16th-seeded Fair Lawn in the first round of the North Jersey, Group 3 playoffs in Chatham.
Chatham (12-6) will host ninth-seeded Wayne Valley in the quarterfinals.
Luke Burns scored twice in the win and 11 other players added one goal apiece.
Eric Fioccola tallied the goal for Fair Lawn (9-7).
Varsity--Chatham 8 - Bergen Catholic 5
Trey Von Heill made 11 saves as Chatham, No. 15 in the NJ.com Top 20, defeated No. 17 Bergen Catholic, 8-5, in Oradell.
Aidan Decker had two goals and an assist for Chatham (11-5), which led 4-3 at halftime. Mason Agostinelli scored two goals and Colin Hart added a goal and two assists.
Michael Kearney scored two goals for Bergen Catholic (8-5) and Max Nolan made eight saves.
Varsity--Delbarton 9 - Chatham 6
In a rivalry that has featured four Morris County Tournament meetings in the past six years, second-seeded Delbarton, No. 2 in the NJ.com Top 20, pushed its tournament winning streak to 32 games with a 9-6 victory over third-seeded No. 16-ranked Chatham in the semifinal round on Saturday in Montville.
That stretch of consecutive victories (dating back to 2016) in county and state tournament games includes three straight Morris County Tournament victories against Chatham in consecutive seasons.
"They're all close games, so both teams match up very well with each other," Delbarton coach Matt Kovachik said. "Tony and his staff do a heck of a job ... it was a well played game just like it normally is when we play them."
In the latest meeting between the division rivals, two Delbarton seniors recorded hat tricks as Michael Long and Jack Cerza each scored three goals to carry the Delbarton offense in the team's lowest-scoring game of the tournament.
Chatham opened the game with a low-tempo, pass-heavy offensive scheme that limited Delbarton's time of possession. The scheme limited shot attempts by both teams, as there were only eight combined shots on goal in the first quarter.
But the controlling scheme did not manifest in early success for Chatham, as Delbarton jumped out to a 2-0 lead.
"That's how they play. They value the ball," Kovachik said. "We know going into it that face-offs are important, riding and clearing is important ... that's part of their philosophy is to make sure there's no wasted possessions, so it was no surprise."
From the game's first goal, scored by Owen Tarnoski at the 8:14 mark, Delbarton led throughout, growing its lead to as much as 8-3 in the fourth quarter.
Chatham did not go away quietly in the final minutes, scoring three consecutive goals, capped by Patrick Conte's second of the game, to set up a potential comeback with just under two minutes left.
Delbarton's subsequent position following the Conte goal was a critical sequence, as it ran the clock to the one-minute mark and put the game out of reach by scoring to push the lead to 9-6.
"Over the years we've had some battles with Chatham," Long, committed to Cornell, said. "We know a lot of their guys and we respect them at a very high level. ... We knew we were gonna meet them again."
Varsity--Chatham 11 - West Morris Mendham 6
Colin Hart netted four goals to lead to lead third-seeded Chatham, No. 16 in the NJ.com Top 20, to an 11-6 win over sixth-seeded Mendham in the quarterfinal of the Morris County Tournament in Chatham.
Chatham (10-4) will face second-seeded and No. 2 Delbarton in the semifinals on Saturday at Montville.
Mason Agostinelli added on two goals to the win.
Justin Beimfohr and Michael Ricciardi each scored two goals for Mendham (7-5).
Varsity--Chatham 14 - Roxbury 2
Grant Webster scored three goals for third-seeded Chatham, No. 16 in the NJ.com Top 20, in a 14-2 win against 14th-seeded Roxbury during the second round of the Morris County Tournament in Chatham.
Mason Agostinelli and Patrick Conte each netted two for Chatham (9-4) which jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first quarter.
Roxbury (3-10) had goals from Brennan Poskitt and Utah Sicsko each scored once.
Chatham plays the winner of sixth-seeded Mendham versus 11th-seeded Montville on Thursday.
Varsity--Seton Hall Prep 13 - Chatham 1
Luke Blanc scored five goals and Kyle Stephenson netted four to lead Seton Hall Prep, No. 2 in the NJ.com Top 20, to a 13-1 win over No. 16 Chatham in Chatham.
Varsity--Chatham 8 - Montclair 5
Mason Agostinelli and Patrick Conte each netted two goals for Chatham in an 8-5 win against Montclair in Montclair. Aidan Decker scored a goal to go with two assists for Chatham (8-3) while Colin Hart and Danny Mahoney each recorded a goal. Montclair (7-5) was led by Will Schiffenhaus with two goals.
Varsity--Chatham 16 - Roxbury 1
Mason Agostinelli netted five goals to lead Chatham, No. 16 in the NJ.com Top 20, to a 16-1 win over Roxbury in Roxbury. Marcus Colaco, Patrick Conte, and Colin Harte all added two goals for the Cougars (7-3), which led 9-0 at the half. Hart also won 10-of-13 face-offs. For Roxbury (2-8), Gavin Gehsal scored off a pass from Tommy Kopp.
Varsity--Chatham 8 - Caldwell 7
With just one second left in overtime, Colin Hart scored the game-winning goal for Chatham to get the 8-7 win against Caldwell in Caldwell. Hart scored three goals in the win while winning 13 of 19 face-offs for Chatham (6-3). Patrick Conte got the assist on the winning goal and finished with two assists and a goal while Danny Mahoney and Grant Webster each netted two in the win.
Caldwell (7-3) was led by Charlie Pierce with three goals.
Varsity--Delbarton 5 - Chatham 4
C.J. Kirst scored two goals, including a late go-ahead goal, to push Delbarton, No. 4 in the NJ.com Top 20, to a 5-4 win over No. 15 Chatham in Morristown.
The game was a back-and-forth affair that saw Chatham take a 2-1 lead into the half. Kirst scored a game-tying goal to put the scoreline 2-2 in the third quarter, before also scoring the final go-ahead goal of the game in the fourth quarter.
Delbarton coach Matt Kovachik spoke highly of Chatham's play, and said that his team was able to pull of the win by just taking advantages of chances when they really needed to.
"We capitalized on opportunities late in the game," Kovachik said. "Both teams made mistakes and both teams had opportunities. There was no particular thing (that gave us the win)." Eventually, we were able to find the go-ahead goal."
Michael Long, Tommy Jepsen and Jack Cera each scored a goal to add onto Delbarton's win. Michael Riccardelli and Liam Gray shared duties in net, with Riccardelli recording three saves and Gray recording two.
Aidan Decker led Chatham's offense with two goals, while Grant Webster and Colin Hart scored a goal each. Trey Von Heill recorded nine saves.
"(Chatham) did well in possession and played real good defense," Kovachik said. "Thankfully, we played great defense as well."
Varsity--Summit 7 - Chatham 5
Varsity--Westfield 9 - Chatham 8
Devon McLane scored three goals and had three assists to help Westfield, No. 15 in the NJ.com Top 20, earn a 9-8 comeback victory over No. 12 Chatham in Chatham.
After Chatham took a 6-4 lead with 6:30 left in regulation in the fourth quarter, they received a two minute non-releasable penalty, which allowed Westfield to score three goals and take a 7-6 lead.
Jake Engelke and Griffin Aslanian each contributed two goals, while Dylan Alfano and Mack Prybylski each scored a goal apiece for Westfield.
Aidan Decker scored three goals, while Nick Jones added two goals. Colin Hart, Danny Mahoney, and Grant Webster each scored a goal apiece for Chatham.
Varsity--Chatham 12 - Monroe 2
Grant Webster recorded three goals and two assists, while Marcus Colcao and Aidan Deck each tallied three goals and an assist, as Chatham, No. 17 in the NJ.com Top 20, rolled past Monroe 12-2 in Chatham. Ryan Boyd stopped six shots for Chatham. .Mike Cavallo scored twice for Monroe, while Josh Estavillo recorded 12 saves.
Varsity--Chatham 9 - CBA 7
Aidan Decker recorded three goals and two assists for Chatham, No. 17 in the NJ.com Top 20, in a 9-7 win against Christian Brothers in Chatham.
Grant Webster led Chatham (4-0) in assists with four to go with one goal, while Colin Hart finished with two goals.
Christian Brothers (2-2) was led by Connor Macrae with four goals.
Varsity--Chatham 15 - Randolph 4
Varsity--Chatham 16 - Madison 4
Danny Mahoney and James Platek each scored three goals to lead Chatham, No. 17 in the NJ.com Top 20, to a 16-4 victory against Madison in Chatham.
Chatham (2-0) jumped out to a 2-1 lead before scoring six goals in the second quarter. Nick Jones scored two goals and had two assists while Grant Webster added two goals and an assist. Mason Agostinelli and Aidan Decker each added two goals.
Stuart Schaenen and Anthony Mazzella each scored one goal and added an assist for Madison (0-2).
Varsity--Chatham 10 - Rumson Fair Haven 6
Colin Hart and Mason Agostinelli each tallied a hat trick to lead Chatham, No. 17 in the NJ.com Top 20 past Rumson-Fair Haven 10-6 in Chatham.
Hart also won 13-of-19 face-offs. Danny Mahoney added on two goals to the win, while Ryan Coughlin and Patrick Conte each chipped in one goal. Trey Von Heill stopped 12 shots for Chatham.
Drew Shaw led Rumson-Fair Haven with three goals, while Henry Devlin, Rowan Goldin and Patrick Jamin scored one goal each.