HADDONFIELD, NJ- The No. 5 seeded Arthur L. Johnson High School Crusaders varsity lacrosse team took the field looking to continue their run in the state tournament, but they came up short, losing to the No. 4 seeded Haddonfield Memorial High School Bulldogs in the NJSIAA South, Group 1 Quarterfinals by a final score of 6-4 Saturday morning in Haddonfield.
Johnson got on the board first, when sophomore Eric Bretz banked home a shot for his 24th goal of the season, giving his team a 1-0 lead at the 1:48-mark of the first quarter.
Haddonfield responded less than two minutes later, when senior Alex Dean scored his 30th goal of the season at the 3:17-mark to tie the game at one. The majority of the quarter saw both teams setting for great scoring opportunities, but nothing reaching the back of the net.
In the closing seconds of the first quarter, Haddonfield sophomore Aiden Blake powered home a shot for his 40th goal of the season, giving the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead after the first quarter.
As the second quarter started, three minutes into it, sophomore Brandon Hund scored his 27th goal of the season near the cage, to tie the game at two. There were other chances for the Crusaders to take the lead, but the shots weren’t reaching the cage.
Haddonfield cashed in on a rush and great passing, as senior Angelo DiTomaso got an open look and fired a shot that beat Johnson sophomore goaltender Josh Hill, to put his team back in front 3-2 at the 4:34-mark of the third quarter.
Later in the quarter, Dean cashed in for his second goal of the game, his 31st of the season at the 11:37-mark of the second quarter, making the game 4-2 Haddonfield.
Johnson trailed Haddonfield Memorial 4-2 at halftime.
However, when the third quarter started, it featured constant pressure from Haddonfield Memorial in their offensive zone and just over five minutes into the third quarter, Blake gave his team a 5-2 lead with his second goal of the game, 41st of the season, at the 5:16-mark of the quarter.
Johnson couldn’t get much pressure or create as many opportunities and trailed 5-2 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Johnson had a few more scoring chances after some pressure, but couldn’t solve Haddonfield’s defense nor their freshman goaltender Will Gramigna. DiTomaso would score his second goal of the game, at the 5:27-mark of the quarter, making it a 6-2 lead. However, Johnson would not go down that easily.
With five minutes remaining in the game, senior Nick Fischetti cut the Haddonfield lead to 6-3 with his 17th goal of the season, a man-up goal. The Crusaders appeared to gain a little momentum following his goal.
With 1:33 left, Fischetti scored his second goal, 18th of the season to make a 6-4 game, but the Crusaders ran out of time and saw their season end on the road.
In net, Johnson sophomore goaltender Josh Hill made 14 saves on 20 shots.
The Johnson Crusaders finish their 2017 season with a 12-5 record.
The Haddonfield Memorial Bulldogs (14-4) advance to the NJSIAA South, Group 1 Semifinals, where they will travel to play at No. 1 seeded Delaware Valley HS Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 p.m.
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