BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Despite a valiant second half comeback effort, the Highlanders came up short, losing, 12-9, Monday night against DePaul at the Gov. Livingston Senior Night Game.
"We are getting there, it is going to click soon -- I can feel it," said senior Garret O'Connor. "The team is really happy with what we can accomplish now."
Coming out strong, senior Tommy O'Sullivan and sophomore Matt Rothfeld scored back to back goals to take the early lead in the first quarter for the Highlanders.
DePaul rattled off five straight goals to end the first period 6-2, then expanded the advantage to 7-2 opening the second with an outside shot by Riley Clark.
The Highlanders turned on the offense and held DePaul to one goal in the second. They moved the ball well, won the ground balls -- but, had many missed opportunities in front of the net. Senior Alex Lipnick connected with Brian Hutton in front of the goal for their sole second period score.
It clicked in the third for GL, outscoring DePaul four to three -- sparked by a goal by Alex Lipnick followed by goal from O'Connor.
Noah Bolt fired up the momentum, driving the ball to connect with the offense. The Highlanders moved the ball trying to find the chance to drive the net with success from Hutton to O'Connor to Rothfeld for the finish.
O'Connor scored his second goal of the night to narrow the lead 9-7 with 1:50 left in the third.
Jason Sedell immediately retaliated with a side angel bullet that got past goalie Peter Kransy to end the third 10-7.
Kransy blocked back to back shots to start the final period. Both sides put pressure on defensively making it difficult to get a shot. O'Sullivan patiently found the hole and drove the ball to score bringing the Highlanders within two.
It would be the outside shooting that would claim the game for DePaul -- Bradley Paterson shot an outside bullet and Robbie Williams netted his second of the game to advance DePaul's lead.
DePaul successfully ran the clock down. With 2.4 seconds left, Hutton drove the net for the last score of the game for the 12-9 final.
"They were a good team. We came out and worked hard, we won the ground ball battle." said Senior Alex Lipnick. "We definitely gave them a ride for their money. We were down 2-6 and won the rest of the game."
About the seniors:
Garret O'Connor has played lacrosse for 8 years -- playing midfield and attack. O'Connor will attend University of South Carolina majoring in Management.
Alex Lipnick has played lacrosse for 8 years -- playing attack. Lettered all four years. He is a member of the National Honors Society and the GL Athletics Society. He will major in mathematics and economics in college.
Andrew Lipnick has played lacrosse for 9 years - playing defense. He will go to Brandeis University majoring in Chemistry to pursue a career in research.
Tommy O'Sullivan has played lacrosse for many years -- playing midfield. He plans to study Athletic Training.
Devon Merone has played lacrosse for three years - playing long stick defender. He will attend Susquahanna University Business School and major in Finance.
Eddy Dryer has played lacrosse for three years - playing midfield. He has earned his Eagle Scout honor and will attend Carnegie Mellon University as a Statistics major.