The second-seeded Madison Dodgers upset the first-seeded Delaware Valley Terriers by the score of 10-6 in the South Jersey, Group 1 final on Saturday in Alexandria to take home their second consecutive title.
The Dodgers, who had only played on grass a few times this season leading up to the game, got off to a slower start than they were used to. After the first period, the teams were knotted at 2-2 after a goal by Jackson Cox to tie the game with just two seconds remaining in the opening quarter. This goal proved to be a huge momentum shift for the Dodgers.
With momentum now on their side, the dodgers rattled off three straight unanswered goals, two from Ryan Schmitz, to take a commanding 5-2 lead into halftime.
The second half brought much of the same as the Schmitz and the Dodgers continued to extend their lead in the second half. Schmitz caught a feed from Ian Waresk and stung the back of the net to end the Dodger scoring run. After a response from the Terriers, Charlie Cleaves stopped any hope they had for a comeback with a goal shortly afterward off a pass from Cox.
The Dodgers would add on one more goal in the third, and the two teams both scored two a piece in the fourth to bring the final score to 10-6. Defensively, not enough can be said about the effort of goalie Nick Spagnoletti who ended the day with a whopping 11 saves. Schmitz lead the way offensively with four goals and two assists alongside Cox who had three goals and two assists.
Spagnoletti hit 301 career saves Saturday.
“Our game plan remained the same all season: Execute our half-field systems, bring energy between the boxes, and show efficiency and composure when the ball is in our possession. Delaware Valley has been playing strong lacrosse all season and we knew our energy and athleticism had to be a difference maker,” said Head Coach Armstrong. “The team’s morale has been great and an important factor for our team success. At times we needed to refocus and exam out team goals and the boys have always been receptive. These guys are having fun and could not be more proud to represent their town, the student body at MHS, their families and all of the young Madison Junior League Players who are preparing for their opportunity one day at Madison HS.”
“Our goal is to continue to find success during practice and games. We make every attempt to control our effort and keep our focus within our program,” Armstrong added.
With the win, the Dodgers advance to the Group 1 final where they will face No. 13 ranked Mountain Lakes for the second straight season. Revenge will surely be on their minds as Mountain Lakes defeated Madison last year to end their season by the score of 7-2. The game is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at Livingston High School on Wednesday, May 21.