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OP Lax Update and State Preview

Mark Miyashiro, Staff Writer

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Despite losing to Scotch Plains-Fanwood in the quarterfinals of the county tournament, the lacrosse team maintained their morale as they entered another quick rush of games.

 

Lenape Valley 5/4

Injuries were scattered across the team as the boys hit midseason fatigue. Two starters were limited, and a few more were out sick. This didn’t stop the Rams from coming out and completing the game. After starting the game down by 1, the team bounced back and scored a flurry of goals with the end score being 12-5 in favor of the Rams.

 

Cedar Grove 5/6

As the injuries continued to plague the team, they hoped to rest some key players in their Saturday afternoon game. Cedar Grove, a three year old program, was a new team that the Rams could afford to rest a few starters. They put on a display with great performances from Anthony Silvestri and Cam Semple. The Rams never let up with the end score being 17-4.

 

Depaul Catholic 5/8

Coming off of a two game winning streak, the Rams were red hot entering their Monday game. Depaul Catholic was a big game in regards to the state tournament rankings, and the boys knew it. The injuries were still there but most of them were disregarded. The Rams started down three at the end of the first quarter, but then flew out the second quarter, scoring seven goals to take an 8-6 lead at halftime. From there, the boys never let Depaul take the lead and won the game with a nail biting score of 14-13. Anthony Silvestri had 4 goals while Jake Kontra, Mark Miyashiro, and Brian Windisch each had hat tricks. Matt Falcone also dished out seven assists.

 

Peddie 5/13

The Depaul game took a big toll on the injuries with one starter out for the Peddie game with a few others being limited. No one was looking forward to playing in cold rainy weather after the long bus ride to Peddie. The Peddie team was in a worse state though. The team had a very low morale as seen by their distractions on and off the field. This allowed the Rams to jump ahead and win the game 9-3.

 

Verona 5/15

Verona was another conference opponent that was very hungry for a big win. Since it was a shorter drive, the boys knew they had to focus well before game time. Verona matched their focus. The first quarter ended with a tie at two, but the Rams took the lead in the second, making the score 6-5 at halftime. From here, the Rams were determined to keep the lead. After going ahead 8-6 at the end of the third quarter, they picked up another goal early in the fourth to make the score 9-6. The defense proceeded to shut down the Verona offense despite a short run in the last few minutes of the fourth quarter. The Rams won that contest 9-8 on another nail biting win.

 

St. Rose 5/20

This was what the season was for  — first state game, playing to practice the following Monday. The seniors wanted it more than anyone considering this could’ve been the last day of their entire high school lacrosse career. This determination was shown all throughout the game. Although St. Rose was a very physical and dirty team, the boys used their mistakes to take control of the game. The Rams had a 5-3 lead at halftime, but after that the St. Rose kids began to hit more. Hit after hit, the Rams were being bullied out there, but that didn’t stop them from scoring. With the game tied 6-6 in the 4th quarter, Joel Pascuzzi scored the go-ahead goal off of a shot deflection from Brian Windisch. Now the score was 7-6 with a 1:34 left to play in regulation. The defense proceeded to shut down the final push by the St. Rose offense, with Justin Meisner making two saves in those last 94 seconds to keep the Rams ahead. Finally, with five seconds left, St. Rose took a shot from the top of the box but unfortunately hit the post, flying over midfield, sealing the Rams’ win.

 

Looking forward, the team continues on to play top-seeded Pingry Tuesday in the quarterfinals of their state bracket. An upset would turn out to be the upset of the state considering that Pingry made it to the Tournament of Champions final last year. The Rams have very high hopes and understand that in order to win, every person needs to play their best and smartest game of lacrosse.

 

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