LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Livingston boys lacrosse team has won its seventh consecutive game in a 14-6 beatdown of Montclair Kimberly Academy (MKA) on Tuesday evening.
“When we were 0-2 we weren’t feeling too good, but I talked about it before—it’s the great senior leadership every day in practice and in the locker room,” said Livingston head coach Brad Dzama.
Livingston trailed an impressive 6-3 MKA team by one heading into the second quarter, where the Lancers took control. Sophomores Brian Russo and Dylan Mandelbaum scored two goals apiece, joining senior Ryan Valese in securing a 5-3 Livingston lead midway through the quarter.
“I think we played well offensively,” said Dzama. “The kids trusted each other, defense tightened up just enough and Marco Fusari was phenomenal on faceoffs once again and we knew with those possessions we were starting to feel it.”
Russo and Valese were key players in the contest, combining for four goals in the second quarter alone as they each finished with matching four-goal performances on the evening.
“[Russo] is a phenomenal talent and [Valese] has been a solid player all the way back to the fifth grade since I saw him play football and lacrosse,” said Dzama. “He’s been that consistent leader and player on the field.”
Livingston proceeded to dominate the second quarter to the tune of eight shots to the Cougars’ two and 14 Livingston ground-ball controls to MKA’s four. The Lancers finished off a seven-goal period with three consecutive goals from Jason Scher, Luke Nardone and Valese. The goals, including one with 11 seconds left in the half, stunned an MKA squad that could not rebound.
“It’s very demoralizing for them, but it’s hard to come back from that as a player,” said Dzama.
The catalyst for the second part of the scoring run for Livingston was Jason Scher, who has been red-hot as of late and was recently named Athlete of the Week. The senior attacker collected two goals in the contest to give him 20 points in his last four games.
“[Scher] can just take the heart out of the defense; he’s so good,” said Dzama.
The Lancers continued their attack in the second half, outscoring MKA 6-2 for the half and erasing all doubts of a Cougar comeback. Additional goals were tallied by Dylan Mendelbaum and Eddie O’Donnell, who have each averaged two points per game in their last four contests.
The Lancers’ victory improves the team’s record to 7-2 on the season. They will look to continue their solid play as they take on Caldwell on Thursday afternoon.
As the team heads back to practice on Wednesday, Dzama said he is looking forward to working on some things defensively.
“There’s been different seasons where [the team dislikes] practice and this group can’t wait to practice,” he said. “They’re a fun group to be around.”