The Governor Livingston Highlanders’ boys’ lacrosse team suffered a 13-9 setback to the Oratory Prep Rams on Friday to be eliminated in the first round of the Union County Tournament. Friday’s loss was Governor Livingston’s second to Oratory in a week as they were unable to avenge last week’s Senior Day loss to the Rams.

Junior Matt Rothfeld continued his torrid stretch this week as his four goals paced Governor Livingston. Senior Jesse Giambra chipped in with 2 goals while classmate Ryan Findeisen and freshman Quinn Haddad scored a goal apiece.

A slow start to Friday’s game proved to be the Highlanders’ Achilles heel. After scoring the game‘s first goal, the Rams responded with six unanswered goals of their own and put the Highlanders in a hole they couldn’t recover from.

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 “Today’s game was a tale of two halves,” Governor Livingston head coach Chet Parlavecchio said. “Going into the half down 10-4 proved too big of a hole to overcome. We played much better in the second half as opposed to the first half. But unfortunately the game is two halves and the slow start did us in.”

Parlavecchio noticed a drop in his team’s intensity level from the Clifton game. The Highlanders’ intensity was as huge reason the team came out of Wednesday’s contest with the victory. Shockingly, that intensity was missing at the beginning of Friday’s game which was disappointing for Parlavecchio.

“We came out flat,” Parlavecchio said. “The intensity from the Clifton game was clearly missing. We made too many mistakes and Oratory simply outcompeted us.”

The Highlanders may have started slow intensity-wise but their energy level eventually picked up. With the way Pete Krasny played, not picking up the intensity wasn’t an option. The senior goalie had another strong game in recording 12 saves. Krasny’s tenacity compensated for much of Governor Livingston’s woes and his coach didn’t hesitate to credit his goalie.

“Pete was very good again today,” Parlavechhio said. “In the midst of our struggles today, he held us together and kept us in the game.”

Trailing by six at the half, the Highlanders opened the second half with three consecutive goals and made the game interesting. The Rams responded with a mini-run of their own and officially put the game out of reach.

“We competed at a much higher level in the second half,” Parlavecchio said. “We battled hard, were much faster, got good shots, and limited our mistakes. But in the end, we didn’t make those plays we needed to make to win the game.”

His efforts may not have resulted in a win, but one Highlander who made his fair share of plays was Rothfeld., who has scored a combined nine goals over the last three contests.

“Matt’s been great lately,” Parlavecchio said. “He’s done a very good job of using his strength to create scoring opportunities. He’s so strong and he’s got such strong hands that he’s tough to move. He’s been one of our better players the last three games.”

Parlavecchio and the Highlanders will have to immediately put Friday’s loss behind them as the quick turnaround has them right back on the field Saturday. The Highlanders will face North Brunswick with hopes of closing out the week on a strong note, and Parlavecchio is confident his team will do so.

“We’ll be fine Saturday,” Parlavechhio said. “If we play like we did in the second half today and on Wednesday against Clifton, we’ll be OK.”