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SUMMIT, NJ - The Gov. Livingston high boys lacrosse team hung close for a half but its opponent - Oratory Prep - pulled away in the second half and earned a 9-3 victory on Thursday afternoon in Summit.
The loss snapped the Highlanders' season-high five-game winning streak and dropped Gov. Livingston's record to 7-4. Oratory snapped its two-game losing streak and improved to 5-4.
Aiden Linde led Gov. Livingston with a goal and an assist; Mac Chiefa with three ground balls and 5-of-10 face-offs won. Chris Ronga and Steven Manfreda each added a goal in the loss for the Highlanders, who trailed, 5-2, at the half.
"We were on such a good little streak, but today they just weren't feeling it," said Michael Provenzano. "And even though we hadn't played well in the first half we were still only down by three goals."
Oratory, which was paced by Luke Jacobello's three goals and four assists and Jon Demontagnac's eight ground balls and 11-of-15 face-offs won, then outscored Gov. Livingston, 4-1, after the break.
One bright spot for Gov. Livingston was the play of senior goalie Luke Stallone, who made 23 saves.
"Luke has been playing lights out and really has had a great season," said Provenzano. "He would've been a four-year starter had we had a season last year."
The Highlanders were coming off one of its best efforts of the season as it defeated Parsippany Hills, 13-3, on the road on May 11.
The well-balanced scoring attack was steered by freshman Brett Peer (four goals), senior Jason House (three goals, two assists), sophomore Ronga (three goals), senior Nick Richel (two goals, three assists), sophomore Aidan Linde (four assists), senior Robert Matfes (one goal) and senior Jack Granelli (two assists).
"We played really good team lacrosse on both ends in that game, and it was fun to watch," Provenzano said. "We had a lot of players contribute, and it was a really good team effort."
Stallone, who is averaging just over 14 saves per game, halted 15 shots to anchor the defense.
House now leads the team in scoring with 19 goals and 10 assists with Ronga (14 goals, two assists) and Peer (10 goals, eight assists), Linde (four goals, 11 assists), Richel (seven goals, eight assists) and Manfreda (nine goals, one assist) also totaling double digits in points.
Next up for Gov. Livingston will be a first round Union County Tournament game on Saturday, May 15. The Highlanders are now 1-2 against county opposition having defeated Dayton and losing to Cranford and Oratory.
Undefeated Summit (8-0), ranked No. 2 in the state, and Westfield (7-3), ranked No. 5, were sure to be seeded 1 and 2 and receiving first-round byes at Thursday night's seeding meeting.
"We're looking forward to it no matter who we play," said Provenzano. "It might be New providence or we might play Oratory again.
"Hopefully today will turn out to be just a 'stub your toe game'," said Provensano. "We have one day to prepare for the counties, but we're looking forward to it."