SUMMIT, NJ - With a trip to the Union County Tournament semifinals on the line, the fifth-seed Governor Livingston Highlanders’ girls’ lacrosse team suffered a 17-6 loss to the fourth-seed Kent Place Dragons on Tuesday.
The loss snapped Governor Livingston’s four-game winning streak and dropped the team’s record to 10-3. Sophomore Lindsay Gerrato’s three goals led Governor Livingston while junior Alice Caballero and senior Julia Martin chipped in with two goals and one goal, respectively.
Knowing it was only her team’s third loss of what has been a good season thusfar, Governor Livingston head coach Aileen Musynske was proud of her team’s effort in the tough loss.
“I commend the girls for playing hard today,” Musynske said. “We didn’t connect on our shots as well as I thought we would but I was proud of our effort and hustle.”
Musynske was also pleased with her team’s success in draw controls on Tuesday. The Highlanders finished with an impressive 15 draw controls with Gerrato registering 11 of her own.
“Lindsay did a great job on draw controls today,” Musynske said. “She was very effective at controlling the ball whether the ball was in the air or on the ground.”
What was particularly frustrating for Musysnke is that most of those draw controls didn’t turn into points, which was key part of the game plan going in to Tuesday’s game. Draw controls are crucial when playing good teams like Kent Place. The more draw controls a team accomplishes usually means more possession time on the attacking end. And a decent amount of possession time usually means a decent amount of points. The Highlanders were able to achieve two of those feats, but were unable to accomplish the third feat of turning the possession time into points, which happens to be the most important.
Coming in to the game, Musysnke stressed the importance of turning draw controls into points. Unfortunately, the Highlanders failed to do so.
“Even though we were very competitive in terms of draw controls and had a decent amount of them, we struggled to capitalize on the attacking end,” Musynske said.
The Highlanders’ inability to take advantage of those draw controls were part of the team’s bigger issue of inconsistency. The Highlanders have struggled lately to be efficient on both ends of the field for an entire game, and Tuesday’s game continued that trend.
The Highlanders were neck-and-neck with the Dragons in the game’s early portions and trailed by just two goals midway through the first half. The Dragons would then break away from the Highlanders in scoring four consecutive goals. The Dragons’ mini-run gave them momentum they wouldn’t relinquish.
“Kent’s a great program that has some very good players,” Musynske said. “The goals coming in were to isolate their best players and slow them down in transition. We had success at times doing so but it wasn’t 100 percent. We need to start putting together a solid 50 minutes instead of 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there.”
Musynske and the Highlanders hope to use Tuesday’s loss as a teaching model on the importance of being consistent for an entire game. Had the Highlanders finished the game how they started, perhaps Tuesday’s outcome would have been different. But for now, a loss is a loss and Tuesday’s game could very well be the wake-up call the team needed.
“We’ll hopefully use today’s game as a learning experience to improve our mistakes,” Musynske said. “It’s time we start playing how we know how to play.”
Next, GL will play Kittatinny Regional away on Thursday, May 7 at 4 p.m. and Union Catholic at home on Saturday, May 9 at 4:30 p.m.