BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Gov. Livingston girls lacrosse came up short losing to Vernon,10-8, on Thursday in their home season opener.
"It was disappointing after five wins in pre-season scrimmages," said GL junior center Julia Martin. "This has been our hardest competition so far."
The Lady Highlanders opened with an offensive burst in the first half taking a four goal lead. Freshman Lindsay Gerrato kicked off the run with a direct shot. Quickly followed by goals by junior Maddy Gerrato, sophomore Stephanie Dowling and Martin.
"The thing that was really going very well for us in the first half was our midfield transition was awesome and our ball movement was great," said coach Nicole Testa. This is Testa's inaugural season as head coach of the Lady Highlanders Lacrosse Program. Bringing fresh coaching style and technique as a recent graduate and lacrosse player for FDU.
The Lady Highlanders stayed tough defensively throughout the first half led by sophomore Alice Caballero and Ryan Shepherd with solid goalie blocks by Laura Nicholson.
Late in the first half, Demi Matthews broke through the tight defense and scored for Vernon to start the momentum shift, as the Lady Vikings quickly scored two more goals to edge in on the Highlanders' lead, 4-3.
Martin would finish the half with a goal from a direct shot going into half with a 5-3 lead.
Vernon turned up their offense and tightened their defense in the second half making it hard for the Highlanders to get shots. The Vikings took the lead midway through the half led by Matthews who had five goals for the game.
Despite Lindsay Gerrato's three goals in the second half, the Highlanders came short of the win. "Lindsay is going to have a great first season here. I look forward to seeing where she can go, she is doing awesome so far," said Testa.
"We had a lot of good moments in the second half when we turned it up, we had good re-defends and good shots. Coach is working on placement of our shots," said Lindsay Gerrato.
"Overall the girls played really hard and Vernon just had that little extra fire in the end," said Testa. "Some silly calls didn't go our way, but that is the game and you can't really control that."
The Lady Highlanders will take the field on Saturday, March 29 against St. Elizabeth at 9 a.m. on home turf.