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Kelly Haberl named IWLCA Division 1 Scholar-Athlete of the Year 2018

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Heat Wave: Summit Girls Lacrosse Scores Early and Often to Shutout Cranford in 'States Debut. 15-0

By GREG ELLIOTT         May 18, 2017 at 8:40 PM

SUMMIT, NJ - Those who arrived tardy because they may have been pre-match hydrating or applying copious amounts of SPF-100 to combat the Kalahari-like conditions Mother Nature bestowed -- and, therefore, did not witness the opening 15 seconds of the Summit High School Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team's NJSIAA State Tournament opener against Cranford -- missed seeing the tilt's game-winning goal.


The laws of science say that the effects of extreme heat -- consistently applied -- can melt and, ultimately, liquefy a solid. Such was the case on the Upper Turf Field as the Hilltoppers joined forces with the afore-mentioned Ms. Nature to microwave the Cougars 15-0.

Ten Summit players scored, led by two goals each from Helen Louise JohnsonJulia SzynalEmily PaytasSophie Zachara and Katia CarnevaleMaddie Collins and Amy Martino shared time in goal and combined to post the shutout.

Johnson raced in and found the back of the net after just a quarter-of-a-minute, and a lava flow-like river of goals would follow, all amounting to a 11-0 halftime lead for The Maroon and White.

Other first-half tallies would come from Anna GriffithOlivia KullAnna Huntley-Robertson, and the first-ever Varsity goal from Kayleigh Driscoll.

in the second 25 minutes, Summit played keep away for long stretches of the half, eschewing numerous clear looks at goal.

Still, four Hilltoppers potted goals -- Szynal's second, Johnson's second, Zachara's second and the final goal from senior captain Stella Spotts -- with the running clock activated showing some mercy to the visitors and the double-baked spectators.

Next up for top-seeded Summit, now 15-2 on the season, is a North 2, Group 3 matchup May 22 against fifth-seeded Roxbury, which upset number-four seed Hopewell Valley.  Opening draw at the Upper Turf Field is set for 4:30 p.m.

Girls Varsity Gives back at the Community Food bank of Nj

The Community FoodBank of NJ is located in a 285,000 square foot facility in Hillside, NJ. The mission of the CFB is to fight hunger and poverty in NJ by assisting those in need and seeking long-term solutions. The CFB distributes 44 million pounds of food a year to approximately 1,000 non-profit agencies throughout the state including soup kitchens, food panties and shelters. The founder of the CFB is a Summit resident, Kathleen DiChiara. She began helping those in need of food by loading up the back of her station wagon in 1975. 

The SHS Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team strives to hold a team bonding event each season. Choosing a community service project this year enabled the team not only to do something good for someone else but also to work together as a team to accomplish that goal. In addition to volunteering, the players donated food items to bring with them to the CFB, including preferred food items with high protein content.

There is a sign within the walls of the CFB which quotes Martin Luther King: "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others." While participating in sports is an important part of students' lives while they are in High School, community service endeavors help to give student-athletes another perspective to consider in how playing sports relates to other challenges of life. The SHS Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team also volunteered at the CFB on the same day. 

The SHS Girls Lacrosse Team's motto this season is "Earn It." It's a perfect saying to remind players just how hard they will have to work this season to accomplish great things together as a team. It also serves as an important motto to carry with them through the challenges of life they will encounter after graduating from High School.

Walsh's Young Summit (N.J.) Team Looking to 'Earn It' in 2017

As seen in Inside Lacrosse-Thursday March 30th, 2017 9:30AM

The very first girls lacrosse game Mike Walsh ever saw was the very first game he ever coached.

There is no denying his ability to take whatever is thrown at him and turn it into greatness. Even when he was blessed with an already accomplished all-star Summit (N.J.) squad, Walsh took his girls to new heights, earning a name for themselves in the ever-elusive Tournament of Champions.

“It’s not easy to win that thing,” Walsh admits, and he’s absolutely right. The name itself is quite literal – each New Jersey team that wins the championship for their respective group goes on to compete against the other state championship winners for the ultimate TOC title.

The Summit girls know its difficulty all too well. It took them four consecutive state championship victories to finally clinch the TOC in 2016, defeating Ridgewood in a double overtime thriller. 

“What you learn is that if you win a state title, that’s doing something,” Walsh said. “That’s not something to put on the side.”

That distinguished squad was highlighted by a senior class of monstrous talent, headlined by Northwestern’s Sara Szynal, Penn’s Teia Ross, Stanford’s Julia Persche, and Duke’s Callie Humphrey and Catherine Cordrey – a once-in-a-lifetime group of girls that Walsh describes as his “lacrosse rats.”

“They were kids who, by the time they were seniors, they won a lot. The one thing they wanted was to fight and still win [the TOC].”

It’s a rarity to graduate ten starters and four all-Americans in a single class year. Many would call these girls irreplaceable, and in a way, that’s true. Walsh can’t “replace” since he can’t recruit, but he has never once worried over a lack of talent.

“I’ve got to dance with the one that brought me. It’s not that I don’t have talented kids – I had talented kids then and I have talented kids now. The others just had to sit and wait their turn.”

Junior middie Helen Johnson is a prime example. The Stanford commit rightfully earned her spot on Summit’s stacked roster, but has yet to have her breakout season – prior to this year, she patiently waited behind the ranks of her seniors.

“Last year, my three starting middies ended up being all-Americans,” Walsh said. “There’s no shame in having to wait your turn there.”

The 2016 seniors have left behind more than just a trophy. Despite a lack of in-depth field experience of the upcoming squad, their predecessors taught them the value of a diligent work ethic, and have ultimately made them better players simply just by playing together.

“They didn’t have anything to prove or show and yet, every drill in practice they went hard,” Walsh said. “I think that that set a standard for the kids who are following them to try to achieve.”

As high as the in-house expectations may be, Walsh feels no outside pressure to extend their championship streak to five. He does not have many returning seniors, which he normally would rely on as natural leaders, so a team effort from all its returners is undoubtedly necessary for success.

“I think everyone expects when you lose ten senior starters, four of whom are all-Americans, there’s the expectation that you’re going to take a little bit of a step back,” Walsh said. “I graduated pretty much every single goal I had last year. We’ve got a little bit of a challenge.”

Such a drastic loss will require shifts in the lineup. Columbia-bound senior Stella Spotts is ranked among the top defenders in the state, yet could potentially move up to join Johnson at the midfield to replenish the disparity. Walsh noted that Summit will lean on Spotts and as well as returning goalie Maddie Collins to get the job done.

The remaining girls are well aware that the road ahead of them won’t be as smooth as last year, but Walsh has faith in their ability to handle this new challenge, and it already seems that they will tackle it with modesty. The motto chosen by the team captains is quite fitting for Summit’s agenda this spring: “earn it.”

“I like that attitude there. I think what it says is that they understand that whatever last year’s team did, and they’re going to have to step out and earn it on the field.

“We set ourselves the goal to win the state championship every year – I see no reason why we can’t fight for that big title again.”

State Champion Summit H.S. Girls Lacrosse Team Honored with Parade and Ceremony June 20

By TAP INTO SUMMIT STAFF   June 17, 2016 at 11:34 AM

SUMMIT, NJ - They rolled over the competition en route to the first-ever Tournament of Champions crown in school history, and now they'll get to roll up Morris Avenue to celebrate their magnificent achievement.

The state title-winning Hilltopper Girls Lacrosse Team will be honored with a parade and ceremony June 20.Credits: Greg Elliott / TAPinto Summit

The Summit High School Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team will be the guests of honor in a parade from Tatlock Field to the high school's Upper Turf Field -- their home fortress -- on Monday, June 20 beginning at 7 p.m.

Head Coach Mike Walsh, his staff, and the players will ride in a series of Jeep Wranglers -- led by a Summit Police Department escort -- to their destination, where they will be feted in a ceremony that will include brief remarks by Summit Mayor Nora Radest, Summit High School Principal Stacy Grimaldi, and Summit High School Athletic Director Robert Lockhart.

The public is invited to attend the festivities, which have been organized by the Summit Women's Lacrosse Association.

Archive - 2014 Season

The AlternativePress Staff

Eight Players to Represent Summit at Girls LAX All-Star Games June 8

Saturday, June 7, 2014 • 9:59am

Eight seniors, including Madeleine Gramigna, have been chosen to represent the Summit Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team at the all-star event, June 8 in Madison.   Credits: Robert Moriarty

Eight seniors, including Madeleine Gramigna, have been chosen to represent the Summit Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team at the all-star event, June 8 in Madison. Credits: Robert Moriarty

SUMMIT, NJ - Eight Summit High School senior members of the Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team have been selected to participate in the 2014 Gil Gibbs All-Star Games, which will be held June 8 at Madison High School. The eight Hilltoppers are:

Madeleine Graminga - midfield (Yale University), Anna Baumeister - defense (Cornell University), Kelly Haberl - defense (Colgate University), Meaghan Celmer - attack (College of the Holy Cross), Stephanie Ford - midfield (College of the Holy Cross), Caroline Cranley, goalie (Trinity University), Taylor Ford - defense (Catholic University), Emmie McCaffery - defense (Colgate University).

Four teams have been selected for the event, with each team playing one game.  All of the Summit representatives will play on the Gladiators Team, which will play at 9 a.m.  A second game will follow at 10:30 a.m.

The Star Ledger

Girls Lacrosse: Summit repeats as Group 2 champions, beating Red Bank Catholic, 15-3

Dave Holcomb/For The Star-Ledger

 May 31, 2014 1:08 p.m.

Summit's #5 Meaghan Celmer hold the trophy. NJSIAA Girls Lacrosse State Championships 2014, group 2 Summit vs. Red Bank Catholic at Monmouth University in West Long Branch. Summit wins 15-3. Saturday May, 31, 2014 (Patti Sapone/The Star-Ledger)

Summit's #5 Meaghan Celmer hold the trophy. NJSIAA Girls Lacrosse State Championships 2014, group 2 Summit vs. Red Bank Catholic at Monmouth University in West Long Branch. Summit wins 15-3. Saturday May, 31, 2014 (Patti Sapone/The Star-Ledger)

The quest for a second straight Group 2 title came to fruition on Saturday for Summit and its eight seniors.

After Red Bank Catholic tied the game at three about halfway through the first half, Summit scored the last 12 goals of the game with five of them coming from sophomore attack  and Summit, No. 2 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, defeated No. 12 Red Bank Catholic, 15-3, in the NJSIAA/Investors Bank/The Lacrosse Ball Store Group 2 final at Monmouth University's Kessler Field in West Long Branch.

"It's incredible. It was one of our goals at the beginning of the season," senior attack Meaghan Celmer said. "We really wanted to play in June and this is one step closer to that."

Summit advances for the second consecutive season to play in the Tournament of Champions, which begins with semifinal action on Wednesday, June 4th.

Szynal finished with six goals and four assists. The sophomore continuously got herself open in front of the net, where she nearly scored all of her goals.

"That's just kind of our freelance offense. It's not necessarily a play," Szynal said. "My teammate would cut through and the girl (Red Bank Catholic defender) would go with her, and I would just be wide open and the girls down low would be able to feed me."

After scoring the first three goals of the game, Summit went about ten minutes without another quality scoring chance as Red Bank Catholic slowed down the pace and controlled the tempo.

Summit lost its offensive rhythm during that time by trying to score too quickly. Head coach Mike Walsh had his senior captains, Celmer, Anna Baumeister, Madeline Gramigna and Kelly Harberl, slow down their own offense to regain their rhythm.

"We just needed to step up and have patience on the offense," Celmer said. "We were kind of rushing it, forcing it to the center and we just needed to slow down and run our plays cause when we run our plays, we work perfectly as a team."

Whether they were set plays or freelance offense, Szynal scored the last two goals of the first half to give Summit a 5-3 lead and momentum going into halftime.

From there, it was all Summit as the Union County power outscored Red Bank Catholic, 10-0, in the second half. Celmer had three goals and two assists, sophomore midfielder Catherine Cordrey also had a hat trick while sophomore midfielder Emily Kalin tallied two scores.

"We've had pretty balanced scoring all season long," Walsh said. "Szynal is obviously our leading scorer, but a lot of her stuff comes off assists. We kind of proud ourselves on having seven kids that can score a goal on the offensive end."

Senior midfielder Stephanie Ford scored and senior attack Maggie Moriarity had an assist. Junior goalkeeper Kady Glynn made 10 saves for Summit.

For Red Bank Catholic, senior Amanda Casten scored and had an assist. Fellow seniors Grace Fallon and Julie Krasutsky also had goals.

"To be 5-3 with them, they are arguably one of the best teams in the state, I just don't think we had the depth, but I'm so proud of my kids," Red Bank Catholic head coach Lisa Caprioni said. "We played hard until the end. We played our hearts out. We gave it everything we had."

The Star Ledger

Girls Lacrosse: Balanced offense, stifling defense leads Summit to North Jersey, Group 2 title

Jeremy Schneider

May 28, 2014 8:35 p.m

Rumson vs. Summit in the North Jersey, Group 4 High School Girls Lacrosse Final on Wednesday. Summit outshot Rumson 14-6. 05/28/2014 Photo by Steve Hockstein/for the Star-Ledger

Rumson vs. Summit in the North Jersey, Group 4 High School Girls Lacrosse Final on Wednesday. Summit outshot Rumson 14-6. 05/28/2014 Photo by Steve Hockstein/for the Star-Ledger

A row of banners highlighting Summit's  accomplishments hangs on a fence behind the Union County squad's bench on game days, including one that honors the team's Group 2 title from last season.

Against Rumson yesterday, Summit looked like a team on the brink of hanging even more banners on that fence.

Meaghan Celmer and Sara Szynal each had three goals and three assists to power Summit, No. 2 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, past No. 7 Rumson, 14-6, to win the NJSIAA/Investors Bank/The Lacrosse Ball Store North Jersey, Group 2 title.

"We were so looking forward to this game," Celmer said. "All season, we've been taking it one goal at a time. But our goal at the beginning of the season was to win the sectional final. It was a huge game, and we were so prepared."

Summit will look to defend its Group 2 title against No. 12 Red Bank Catholic at Monmouth University in West Long Branch on Saturday.

Bridget Curran opened the scoring for Rumson less than two minutes into the action, giving the Monmouth County squad an early lead with the first of her team-high four scores. Summit dominated possession after that and started to generate scoring chances but struggled to put its shots on net.

That changed when Celmer got Summit on the board less than a minute and a half after Curran's goal. That was the start of an 8-2 run for the home team in which four different players found the back of the net.

"We fed off the energy from our defense," Celmer said. "They were making great stops. The cuts were there and we were playing really good off-ball. The whole attack just worked together."

Madeleine Gramigna had three goals in the victory as well, while Catherine Cordrey chipped in a pair of scores.

"I think our balance showed today more than anything," Summit coach Mike Walsh said. "Especially on the offensive end."

Summit's offense continued to click after halftime, while its defense stymied the high-powered Rumson attack. Only two of Rumson's six goals came from the run of play, with all others coming from free position shots.

"We knew Rumson was a great crease team," Celmer said. "(Defender) Anna Baumeister played amazing, shutting them down on the crease, and (goalkeeper) Kady Glynn made amazing stops."

Rumson face-guarded Szynal for most of the game and, according to Walsh, did as good a job as anyone had all season long in that regard. That meant someone else had to step up. The senior Celmer was happy to answer the call, especially considering this was the last home game of her career.

"It was my last game on this field, so that was kind of emotional," Celmer said. "Playing with my team, we work so well together. Everyone just gave their all today, and everyone contributed. It was amazing."

The Star Ledger

High School Top Performer - Week 5: Kady Glynn, Summit

Jeremy Schneider

Thursday, May 15, 2014 • 12:01am

Junior, 5-4, Goaltender

JUST THE FACTS: There may not be a harder keeper to beat in the entire state than Glynn, a Loyola of Maryland commit. She made 12 stops and shut out Westfield in the Union County Tournament championship game, pitching a shutout in the second half. With her in net, No. 2 Summit enters the state tournament as heavy favorites to repeat as Group 2 champions and a contender to win the Tournament of Champions.

Kady Glynn, right, makes a save against Westfield in the Union County Tournament final. (Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger)

Kady Glynn, right, makes a save against Westfield in the Union County Tournament final. (Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger)

TEAMMATE'S COMMENTS: "I'm not surprised, because I get to see her every day in practice and she stuffs us all the time, too. I can't say enough about her. She's incredible. We're so lucky to have her, she keeps us in a ton of games. If they get a shot, we know she can make the save. So we really have no worries." - Summit midfielder Sara Szynal

SHINING IN THE UCT: "I was just sitting there and I was like, this is going really well. And I wanted to keep it up and keep that shutout."

BIGGEST STRENGTH: "I really try to just work hard and work on my fast feet and fast hands. My number one goal is just to do whatever I can to help my team in every game."

WHAT'S SHE'S WORKING ON: "I'm really trying to work to improve my feet and my quickness to the ball all the time."

GOALTENDING LINEAGE: "My dad actually played goalie at Kean in college, so when he started coaching when I was in second grade I decided to play. I knew that he played goalie, so that's how I got the position. I started playing and I just fell in love with it."

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Strong Defense Anchors Summit H.S. Varsity Girls LAX Title Defense

Greg Elliott

Friday, March 28, 2014 • 9:41am

SUMMIT, NJ - Entering just his third season as head coach of the Summit High School varsity girls lacrosse team, Mike Walsh has established an elite program, capturing the Union County Championship, the Group 2 North Sectional Championship, and the Group 2 State Championship all in 2013.  

Goalie Kady Glynn will have a talented, senior-laden defense in front of her as the Summit High School Girls Varsity Lacrosse team looks to defend their County, Sectional and State championships.

Goalie Kady Glynn will have a talented, senior-laden defense in front of her as the Summit High School Girls Varsity Lacrosse team looks to defend their County, Sectional and State championships.

The coach knows that maintaining the team's level of success will be no simple task.  "It is such a hard league," said Walsh, adding, "We don't have a right to overlook anyone."

Despite losing captains Stuart Humphrey and Jess Sanyour to graduation, the Hilltoppers return a strong core, most notably on defense.  While the offense may be a work in progress at this point, the defense is anchored by four seniors in Anna Baumeister, Taylor Ford, Emmie McCaffrey and Kelly Haberl. And, although goalie Kady Glynn is a junior, she has been a three-year starter and has proven herself as a stellar last line of defense, producing 182 saves last season.

On attack, look for a strong year from senior Meaghan Celmer and sophomore Sara Szynal, with seniors Madeleine Gramigna and Stephanie Ford powering the midfield.

Four Captains have been named: Gramigna, Baumeister, Celmer, and Haberl.  

"A key challenge is to get the kids to understand the importance of playing as a team, especially in a short pre-season," said Walsh.  While most coaches are, understandably, cautious about team prospects -- especially early in the season -- Walsh admits his team is. "Athletic, deep, we catch and throw the ball well."

"How far we go will be dictated by how well we play together and how we react to, and handle, adversity, Walsh noted.  This is a chemistry game, and everyone has to learn to trust each other."

The season gets off to a dynamic, and highly challenging, start when the Hilltoppers face Chatham at home March 28, then travel to Mountain Lakes March 31, before returning home to take on Oak Knoll April 2.

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Girls Lacrosse Season Preview, 2014

By Richard Greco/For The Star-Ledger
March 26, 2014 8:30 a.m.

New Jersey lacrosse season begins today as the spring sports season is upon us. 

After a quick preseason, the regular season is here as the season starts earlier than usual. There are plenty of questions to be answered such as whether or not Moorestown can continue its dominance. Will South Jersey continue its dominance or can a strong Union County program emerge as a top power? Public schools have faced off in every Tournament of Champions final, will this be the year a Non-Public school can break the trend? What teams will surprise this year?

Those questions will be answered over the next few months. Make sure to check out all season long for complete coverage of New Jersey lacrosse.

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