SCOTCH PLAINS-FANWOOD, NJ - A winless Raiders lacrosse ended their early season drought on Monday versus the Governor Livingston Highlanders, winning 10-7 at Wexler Field.
Both squads were slow to gain momentum in the beginning of the game until GL’s Matt Rothfeld opened up the scoring at 10:18. A Jack Gerrity goal would tie the game for SPF and close out the first quarter.
Governor Livingston senior Brian Hutton kicked off the second quarter with another Highlander goal, putting this team back in the lead. The score put Hutton at 100 career goals.
“The individual milestone is great but at the end of the day it’s about the team, and we didn’t come up with the win” Hutton said.
Hutton would find twine twice more before the day’s end, adding to the triple-digit career total.
Scott Nizolak and Kevin Kirby would regain the lead for SPF, each scoring one and taking a 3-2 lead before halftime. The Raiders’ could have extended their lead, but were thwarted by a poke check from GL goalie Peter Krasney right in front of his net.
Just 38 seconds into the second half, GL playmaker Brian Hutton scored his second goal of the day, tying the Raiders 3-3.
Just ten seconds later, SPF attacker Ryan Connors took his own faceoff win straight down the field and fired a shot into the cage to regain the lead.
The showdown continued as Brian Hutton scored one more quick goal to tie the Raiders 4-4.
SPF took control of the third quarter however, as Kevin Kirby scored two more goals for the Raiders, followed by a Joe Griffith score.
Just 18 seconds into the 4th quarter GL’s Doug Anderson cut into the Raiders lead with a deep pole shot from the point.
The back and forth scoring frenzy continued, as Cooper Heisey (SPF), Max Toglia (GL), Scott Nizolak (SPF), Matt Blugosz (GL), and Richie Nardone (SPF) all scored consecutively in the fourth quarter.
The all around team effort put forth by Scotch Plains-Fanwood earned the boys their first win of the season, letting the division know they are indeed tough competition.
“Our seniors definitely stepped up and showed a lot of leadership, but the young guys stepped up as well,” said Raider Kevin Kirby, who had three goals on the day. “It was a good team performance and if we pick up on our mistakes we’re going to excel the rest of the season.”
“We had 42 shots, and I’d say 30-35 of them were quality shots,” said Coach Nick Miceli. “It’s a huge weight off the team’s shoulders to finally get that win. We just have to stay hungry.”
Scotch Plains-Fanwood lacrosse is now 1-4 on the season, and look to improve on the road against Bernards High School on Wednesday.
The loss for Governor Livingston puts their record at 1-3. The Highlanders have a bit of breathing room before facing Lenape Valley Regional High School on Thursday.