LAX team hits rough spots in their first losses
Out of the county tournament in first round loss to Wayne Valley
WEST MILFORD — The Highlanders' boys lacrosse team suffered its first losses of the season - against Lakeland, Montville and Wayne Valley in the Passaic County Tournament, but bounced back with a win against Vernon. In their latest game against Lenape Valley Tuesday night, the Highlanders lost a heartbreaker. Down by six goals in the fourth quarter, they rallied back but fell short in a 10-9 loss.
First loss to Lakeland
On April 12, the Highlanders fell to the Lancers, 12-4, for their first loss of the season.
Lakeland jumped to a 4-1 lead in the first quarter. Charlie Cole assisted Jared Calise to get the Highlanders on the board.
The second quarter was better for West Milford defensively, holding Lakeland to just one goal. Nick Dionisio and Cole scored for the Highlanders, making the score 5-3 at the half.
Lakeland rolled in the third quarter, scoring four more goals while shutting West Milford out. Kyle Little took over in the goal and gave up just one goal in the quarter.
West Milford scored once more in the final quarter, but Lakeland wouldn't be contained, scoring three more times.
The junior varsity game was a different story. West Milford JV rolled over the Lancers by a score of 10-4, with Zack Starr, Nick Gordy, Drew Kagis, Dan Cummings, Anthony Hanratty and Eugene Marchetto scoring for the Highlanders.
Montville is too much to handle
Defense was the name of the game on May 1 as the Highlanders went up against Montville in an intense game. West Milford would come out on the losing side of this 7-3 match.
Right away it was obvious that this would be a defensive game for the Highlanders. The Mustangs were very aggressive and swift, scoring three goals in the first quarter. Highlander defenders TJ Dionisio and Dylan Walko, both seniors, encouraged the defense.
West Milford got on the board when Corey Curran scored the sole Highlander goal of the quarter. Montville answered late in the period, making the score 4-1 at the half.
The teams traded goals in the third quarter, with Nick Dionisio scoring off of an assist from Charlie Cole.
The Mustangs score two goals in the final quarter, while the Highlander got just one; it was scored by Curran with just three minutes left.
Out in the first round
Wayne Valley knocked West Milford out of the Passaic County Tournament on May 5 in the opening round, with a score of 11-4.
The Highlanders kept up with the Indians in the first quarter but fell behind and could not rebound.
With Wayne Valley up 1-0 in the first quarter, Jared Calise scored the first Highlander goal. Wayne Valley scored again and then Charlie Cole evened the score. The quarter ended with another Wayne Valley goal and a 3-2 lead for the Indians.
Kyle Little took over in goal in the second quarter with TJ Dionisio and Dylan Walko as support. But Wayne Valley's offense was just too much, and West Milford allowed three goals. Dylan Pirro added one for West Milford with an assist by Corey Curran. At half, West Milford was down 6-3.
And they would not come back. Frustration seeped in and both teams received unnecessary roughness penalties in the third quarter. Wayne Valley scored twice in the quarter and shut out the Highlanders.
Kyle Butera scored the final goal for the Highlanders, while Wayne Valley scored three more.
Big win over Vernon
After three losses, the Highlanders redeemed themselves with an 15-8 win over Vernon.
West Milford controlled the first quarter as Jared Calise had two goals, with one assisted by Corey Curran. Zach Haid supplied the third Highlander goal, and West Milford was up 3-1.
Curran gave West Milford three more goals in the next quarter, while Vernon scored once. They went into the locker room with a 6-2 lead.
Each team added a goal in third quarter. West Milford's came from Charlie Cole.
Both teams caught fire in the fourth quarter, with West Milford scoring eight goal and Vernon had five. Highlanders who scored were Anthony Pellegrino, Haid, Noah Provenzano,
Mark Hendry, Cole, Butera, Curran and Dionisio. Kyle Butera and Provenzano assisted on two of the goals.
Fall short in a close on
The May 13 game against the Lenape Valley Patriots was one of the most intense games of the season. Down by six goals, the Highlanders mounted a comeback but fell short by one, losing 10-9.
Charlie Cole got the first Highlander goal in the first quarter, but the Patriots came roaring back with four.
Cole and Corey Curran scored in the second quarter, but the Patriots answered with three goals of their own, putting them up 7-3 at the half.
The Patriots shut out West Milford in the third quarter and added two more scores to their tally.
But in the fourth quarter, the Highlanders came alive. Down 10-3 after Lenape Valley scored to start the quarter, West Milford answered with five goals, scored by Cole, Butera, Zach Haid, Curran and two by Cole. But it wasn't enough.
The 10-9 loss disappointed the team, but head Coach Gary Stoll reminded the team, “No one can call you quitters after the way you fought back.”
- Submitted by Alison Cosgrove
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