BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Sophomore Aidan Linde is one of the underclassmen that Gov. Livingston High boys lacrosse head coach Michael Provenzano brought up to the varsity level this season.
And Linde came through with his biggest goal to date, scoring less than four minutes into overtime to lift Gov. Livingston to a 10-9 victory over Boonton on Saturday afternoon in Berkeley Heights.
With the win, the Highlanders have now won three of their last four games and evened their season record at 3-3. Boonton fell to 3-3 with the loss.
"We had three guys, Aidan and freshmen Mac Chiefa and Brett Peer, who we knew needed to come up from JV to varsity," said Provenzano. "Its nice that they've been contributing."
Gov. Livingston held a 9-8 lead late in the fourth quarter before Boonton sent the game into the extra session with the tying goal in the last 30 seconds.
The Highlanders were led by senior Jason House, who had a game-high five goals and one assist.
"Jason's a senior and he came into this season with a lot of expectations," Provenzano began. "He was challenged to step up after our last game and he really responded today."
House now leads the Highlanders with eight goals and three assists.
Chris Ronga added two goals with Chiefa and Blake Januzzi each adding one; Nicky Richel tallied three assists and Peer with one assist to round out the Gov. Livingston offense.
Defensively, senior Luke Stallone turned aside nine shots in goal.
"Luke would've been a four-year starter if there was a season last year," said Provenzano. "He's an all-around great person to be around and a force in net as well."
Gov. Livingston held a 4-1 lead after the first period and took a 5-3 lead into the half. Boonton trailed, 8-5, at the end of the third before the Bombers used a 4-1 fourth-quarter showing to force overtime.
With the win, the Highlanders improved to 3-1 in the Klank Division of the NJILL (New Jersey Interscholastic Lacrosse League). Hanover Park, which defeated Gov. Livingston, 11-5, on April 23, is 2-1 and atop the standings. Boonton is also 3-1 in divisional play with a game looming against Hanover Park on Monday.
"That would put us in a good spot if Boonton could win that one," said Provenzano. "The only banner in our gym for boys lacrosse is for 100 goal scorers. I've told this team if they could win the division and be the first to put a banner up they would never forget it for the rest of their lives."
Gov. Livingston will look to keep its winning momentum going against division foe Morris Catholic at home on Monday, May 3 at 4:30 p.m. before it plays Dayton in a non-divisional game on Wednesday at home at 4 p.m.
"I think we have a good chance at having a good run," said Provenzano, now in his 10th year at the school and third as head coach. "And a lot of credit goes to my assistant coaches John DiPasquale, Doug Voight and Kevin Fontana as well."