BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Heavy rains and the occasional strong gust of wind did nothing to stop the boys’ lacrosse edition of one of the top high school rivalries in the state: New Providence and Gov. Livingston.
With everything in Union County on the verge of flooding, except Snyder Ave. Field, the Pioneers erased an early deficit to sink the Highlanders, 16-8, on Wednesday.
“Obviously it was fun,” New Providence head coach Vinny Carangelo said. “I told the guys this isn’t like playing in a rain storm. This should be epic. This should be fun. This is something your going to remember the rest of your life. This is a monsoon.”
New Providence trailed very early in the game, as Gov. Livingston’s Garrett O’Connor beat Pioneer goalie Garrett Pope less than three minutes after the opening faceoff.
Jack Harvey tied the game with 5:37 remaining in the opening quarter, but GL’s Alex Lipnick recaptured the lead two minutes later with his first of team-high four goals in the game.
The Pioneers responded emphatically, scoring five unanswered goals to take control of the game. Senior James Burke scored three of his four goals in consecutive fashion during the midst of the streak. As a team, New Providence put in three goals over a 1:02 span in the second quarter.
“It’s a big game for us every year, no matter what,” Burke said. “I’m just happy we played well. Its huge for us every year. We played with these guys in the Chiefs program. Every year we want to come out and play well and stick it to them.”
Leading 7-4 at the break, the Pioneers exploded for nine goals in the second half. Jack Harvey, who admittedly was hoping for a rain out, scored four times in the second half en route to a career-high six goals and six assists.
The junior attacker has impressed a lot of people this year, including Carangelo, who was speechless when he saw the stat sheet.
“That’s pretty good,” Carangelo said with a shocked look. “We were just focusing on moving the ball. We’ve been preaching that. He did a heck of a job with it. If he can keep doing that, he’s going to be tough to stop.”
The Pioneers are back in action on Thursday when they visit East Side High School. Gov. Livingston is off until Friday when they play their first round game of the Union County Tournament at Oratory Prep.