WESTFIELD, NJ - The Madison Varsity Boys’ Lacrosse team recovered after a rough start against Westfield on Wednesday afternoon and turned the game around to win 12-9, thanks to offensive players Billy Battaglia and Colin McLinden.
Ryan Bohrod of Westfield started with the ball and assisted to Jackson O’Leary for the first goal five seconds in. Westfield’s patient offense struck again when O’Leary scored again minutes later. Nick Arnold of Westfield scored after rebounding teammate Greg Flood’s goal attempt, and followed up with another goal assisted by Jack Allen. Madison goalie Brett Anton refused to slacken and limited Westfield’s goals to 4, ending the quarter with Madison down 4-0.
Madison woke up in the second quarter: Colin McLinden assisted Billy Battaglia for a goal 25 seconds in, and Mike Clemente assisted Battaglia with another goal moments later. Patrick Dyer counteracted with a goal for Westfield, but Battaglia responded with his third goal of the quarter. Martin Horn of Madison assisted to McLinden for a goal, and Bohrod of Westfield made a fast break downfield for a goal. Bohrod scored another goal while struggling through Madison’s defense. McLinden hustled downfield to assist Mark Langan for the last goal of the quarter, and Westfield was still up 8-4.
McLinden pushed through Westfield’s defense and scored two consecutive goals three minutes into the second half. Horn of Madison scored mid-quarter to tie the game, and Battaglia scored to turn the game around and put Madison in the lead at 8-7.
Bohrod scored for Westfield 15 seconds into the fourth, but Battaglia answered with a steal to assist McLinden with a goal. Langan scored for Madison and McLinden sideswiped Westfield’s defense to score again. Battaglia scored with one minute left icing the 12-9 victory for Madison.
Madison Coach Mark Sweeney said, “One of our senior top players got hurt today -- had tonsillitis and couldn’t play -- I think they got off the bus a little slow and then they finally woke up, they said ‘Let’s go, let’s step up, let’s show some character,’ and you know, Colin McLinden had a huge game, he stepped up and said ‘I’m taking this over and winning this game’ and everybody else climbed up on his shoulders and said, ‘Hey, we’re going with you.’”
Colin McLinden said, “The face offs were a huge part of this game, [Westfield’s] face off kid was very good. I’m a captain, so, as my leadership role, I had to take over the game and score the first two goals. It was a great team effort; everyone scored in this game, even our backup. Two of our best midis were out today, so a lot of young guys stepped up.”
Westfield Coach Marc Silbergeld said, “We have yet to play a full game all season. That’s what we have challenged these kids to do, and that’s what we’re waiting to see.”
Madison will play against West Essex at 10 a.m. on Saturday.