LIVINGSTON, NJ — An impressive second-half effort propelled the Livingston boys lacrosse team to a 12-4 victory over Oratory Prep and its third-consecutive win, granting them a seat atop the conference.
“It’s nice to get back on the winning track,” said Livingston head coach Brad Dzama. “It feels good with this victory,”
The Lancers’ key-turning point came at the half as they held a slim lead at 3-1 over their Ram counterparts. Knowing that the next scoring run would be crucial, Dzama made sure to keep his team focused at the midway point of the contest.
“We basically said if we put in two or three it’s not over but it’s in our hands at that point,” said Dzama.
Livingston answered its coach’s challenge, scoring the game’s next five goals in an eight-minute span to take an 8-1 lead. Eddie O’Donnel collected his two goals for the game in that span, joining Brian Russo, Ryan Valese and John Durish to give the Lancers all the momentum they would need.
“When you have [upperclassmen] like that, [they] lead and underclassmen follow, and they led today,” said Dzama.
Although playing his part in the five-goal scoring run attacker, Brian Russo rounded out a fantastic performance for the day. Russo collected game high four goals, which has given him 24 for the season and 11 in his last three contests.
“He’s our scorer—he’s a freshman and he’s six-foot-one-inch tall and he can put the ball away,” said Dzama, “He scores big goals for us.”
Livingston was able to show a crucial trait for a team, looking to make a long run in counties and states by collecting themselves and being poised with a 1-1 contest midway through the second quarter. Seniors Stephen Russo and Austin Siegel each scored a goal to put the Lancers up by two heading into the second half.
When asked how the team managed to pull through in such a close scenario, Dzama cited the duo’s ability to be a calming influence on the team
“We were patient, we didn’t lose our minds because it was tight when it shouldn’t have been and senior leadership that’s what kept us patient,” said Dzama. “We have a lot of freshman and sophomores playing on offense and they were patient because of the seniors.”
Livingston’s Stephen Russo was able to finish out the game in the net, as the senior has been pulling double duty in both the cage and on offense. Russo notched 10 saves for the game off of 13 shots faced.
“He had so many saves, directed the defense, took a few faceoffs, and he scored one on man up, so he’s our best player,” said Dzama.
For Livingston, the victory improves the team to 6-3 on the year as the Lancers look to continue on what is now a three-game winning streak. The team will have a tough task against Ridge High School on Thursday, but will be riding high off of these last few victories.
“We’ve just got to stay locked in, our last two practices have been very good, our last two games have been ok,” said Dzama. “I like mentally where we are."