MADISON, NJ - The Madison Dodgers Varsity Boys’ Lacrosse team have had a tough break this season, and headed into what Head Coach Mark Sweeney called a “longstanding, old football rivalry” with Delbarton on Wednesday afternoon.  Madison continued its difficult season, losing 16-8 to Delbarton, though the team showed great potential in the second half.  
 
During the first quarter Delbarton’s offense was on fire. Jack Molloy earned two goals and an assist to Connor Bilby.  Clay Haarmann scored twice and Peter McMullen once. Madison’s Chad Smith earned the team its only goal five minutes in after curving around the goalpost.  Madison was down 7-1 at the end of the first.  
 
Madison’s defense improved in the second quarter. Goalie Brett Anton limited Delbarton to a single goal with a minute left and Billy Battaglia bypassed a swarm of defenders and scored with ten seconds left, ending the quarter with Madison down 8-2.
 
The third quarter gave a glimpse of Madison’s offensive potential: Smith scored seven minutes in, Mark Langan netted a close shot a minute later, and Colin Mclinden scored with ten seconds left. Despite Madison’s increased hustle, Delbarton outdid them with five goals and ended the quarter up 13-5.
 
Battaglia scored for Madison at 9:25 in the fourth quarter and Mike Clemente scored at 5:48 after a slash by Delbarton turned the ball over to Madison. Clemente scored again from afar at 1:43, but Delbarton matched them with three goals of their own to claim the 16-8 victory. 

Madison Coach Mark Sweeney said, “[Delbarton] runs at you with waves of kids, and we only have six or seven offensive players. We had some positives after the first quarter, but we have to build on it. It’s been a tough beginning to the schedule -- playing Summit, Delbarton, Mendham -- and there are a lot of kids without varsity experience.”
 
Battaglia said, “We’ve been playing tough teams. We need to improve our defense and offense and have more leadership. In the first quarter, we came out slow, and in the second half we started moving the ball more. We were able to get more ball movement and got into a good rhythm.”
 
Madison will compete against West Morris in a home game at 4:00 p.m. on Friday.