LIVINGSTON, NJ – The Livingston Lancers boys’ lacrosse team came into Thursday afternoons game against Newark Academy looking for some momentum heading into County and State Tournament play. Fortunately for the Lancers, they were able to edge out a nail-biting 10-8 victory over the Minutemen at Livingston High School.
For the eighth time this season, Livingston’s high-powered offense was able to net 10 goals. Newark Academy’s main focus on defense was to try and stop Lancers’ electrifying sophomore attack man Tommy Heller.
“There was a couple times where I thought my defender would slide and move towards the ball, but instead he just stayed on me and made sure I was cut out of the play," Heller said. "There were a couple of opportunities that I got that I couldn’t finish on."
Despite an off-afternoon for Heller, the Lancers saw great contributions from Billy Mandl, Jake Hoffer, Brendan Flaherty, and Jacob Pollack. Each of these players were able to find the back of the net during the game.
In a game that included four ties and five lead changes, the Lancers were able to jump out to a 5-2 lead midway through the second quarter. The three-goal cushion allowed the Lancers to stay right with Newark Academy in spite of their 15 minute scoring drought between the second and third quarters.
“Every time we play Newark Academy it’s always a good game," Lancer head coach Brad Dzama. "We knew it was going to be a fight. They’re very well coached. I thought our athleticism won the game for us at the end.”
Midway through the third quarter, Newark Academy tied the game up at five a piece with a third unanswered goal.
The momentum looked to be shifting, but with less than three minutes to go in the quarter, captain and senior defensemen Dan DePasquale made a key stop to break up a Newark Academy fast break.
After quick goals by each team in the early stages of the fourth quarter, Livingston was able to finish the game on a 3-1 stretch to cap off a 10-8 victory over the Minutemen.
Mandl sparked the Lancers’ attack and the defense, led by DePasquale, Tyler Solter and Kyle Asmen was able to hold off a scrappy Newark Academy team.
As the Lancers improve their record to 10-4 on the season, they feel very confident moving into postseason play.
“The past couple games I have seen so much improvement in our team," Heller said. "We have Verona on Saturday for the first round of the county tournament. There’s no doubt in my mind we should win that game. If we can keep improving and get a little more confident, then we are absolutely capable of making a run."