Boys Lacrosse: No. 1 Rumson-Fair Haven overpowers No. 4 CBA in Shore Conference Tournament semifinals
LONG BRANCH -- For all the aspirations Rumson-Fair Haven's lacrosse team has to achieve statewide supremacy, staking a claim as the undisputed king of the Shore Conference remains extremely high on the Bulldogs' list of priorities.
That focus has been apparent. Consider the results since May 6 when RFH concluded its arduous nonconference schedule: the Bulldogs defeated five Top 10 opponents during that span with an average margin of victory of 12.4 goals. That is dominance, plain and simple, and the latest result came on Thursday during the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals.
DJ Devine, Cole Cashion, and Zach Iwan scored goals in a span of 30 seconds during the first quarter, opening the floodgates for a scoring barrage that saw No. 1 Rumson steamroll its way to a 15-4 victory over No. 4 Christian Brothers Academy on Thursday at Long Branch High School.
Cashion, Rumson's standout senior attackman, led the way with three goals and one assist while freshman attackman Luke Lydon scored three times and junior midfielder Andy Croddick scored twice. Junior Luke Marascio continued his excellent season at the face-off X and put together another dominant performance by winning 14 of 19 draws and picking up eight ground balls. Rumson moved the ball with pace and conviction and spread the scoring wealth among 10 different players. Iwan, Devine, Matthew Casazza, Vincent Raphalian, Grayson Goldin, Brody Page, and Leo Passalaqua each scored once.
Senior goalie Marshall Halfacre made seven saves in another strong start in back of a standout defensive performance by poles Beau Kemler, Luke Jamin, Troy Monte, and Brody Page.
Rumson advances to its third straight SCT final and 14th overall in program history. The Bulldogs will play No. 3 Manasquan at 6 p.m. on Monday at Monmouth University.
"Props to them, they are a great team," Cashion said. "It's a great rivalry game and we knew we had to get on them early. We wanted to crack them and that's what we did at the end of the day. They didn't have a response."
Lydon gave Rumson a quick 1-0 lead off an assist from Cashion less than a minute into the game. CBA responded on a goal by Ryan Martin at 7:09, but Marascio won the ensuing face-off and Devine scored off an assist by Iwan to ignite a surge of six straight goals that put the game away before the first 12 minutes had elapsed. Marascio won the next draw and immediately set up Cashion for a goal five seconds later. Then Cashion chased down a ground ball and dished to Iwan for a goal. Just like that, it was 4-1 Rumson.
Goals by Passalaqua, Croddick, and Casazza pushed the lead to 7-1 before CBA got one back on a goal by Cameron D'Alterio with 25 seconds left in the first quarter. Cashion, however, sank his second goal of the game with four seconds left to put Rumson up 8-2 after the first quarter.
Rumson widened the gap in the second quarter to take a 12-3 halftime lead. A penalty on Rumson for an illegal stick between quarters gave CBA a two-minute extra-man opportunity to begin the second quarter, and Colts senior attackman Nick Blalock cashed in to cut Rumson's lead to 8-3. Marascio won the face-off, however, and Rumson was able to kill off the remainder of the penalty. Page scored at 7:37 for a 9-3 lead and Rumson kept its foot on the accelerator with a goal by Cashion and two more by Lydon to head to the break with a commanding lead.
Goldin and Croddick scored in the third quarter and Raphalian added a goal in the fourth quarter. Ian Macrae scored for CBA with 4:33 left in the game to provide the final scoring margin.
Any drama was eliminated in the first seven minutes of the game and Rumson rolled to another convincing win over a Shore Conference opponent. That has been the story for the last three seasons and for much of the last decade. In fact, the Bulldogs' last loss to a Shore Conference opponent came to Manasquan in the 2019 SCT final. The Covid shutdown wiped out the freshman season for this senior class but they will take the field on Monday with a chance to close out an undefeated career within the Shore Conference.
"We take pride in winning the Shore Conference Tournament so in our last one ever we're going to bring it," Jamin said.