MILLBURN, NJ – New Providence’s Jack Harvey endured the grueling task of double- and triple-teams every time he touched the ball during Thursday’s boys’ lacrosse game at Millburn High School.
However, the senior attacker proved to be better than any defensive attack he faced. The last two times Harvey touched the ball led to an overtime-forcing goal by Quinn Killeen with 6.5 seconds to play in regulation then he scored the game-winning notch in the extra session, as the Pioneers came from behind to beat Millburn, 9-8.
“We executed effectively for the last 30-40 seconds,” head coach Vinny Carangelo said. “We didn’t execute too well before that. When it mattered, when it counted, we did what we were supposed to do.”
The Pioneers trailed by as many as two goals at three different points in the game, but managed tie the contest each time.
It was the second consecutive heartbreaker suffered by Millburn, which fought Scotch Plains-Fanwood evenly on Tuesday before falling, 7-6, on a goal in the final five minutes of regulation.
After Millburn went back on top by two goals with 3:41 to play in the fourth quarter, a look of desperation crept across the faces of everyone on the Pioneers’ sideline except for Harvey. The team’s leading scorer decided then that it was his time to take over.
“When you’re a senior you have to take leadership and you have to be able to make the plays that other kids are afraid to make or can't make,” he said. “You bring their confidence up. I feel like I should be able to make those plays so they can make plays.”
With 90 seconds to play in the game, Harvey pulled New Providence within a goal when he roped a ball from 15 yards out to make the score 8-7.
One minute later, following a Millburn turnover, Harvey took the ball from behind his own goal down the length of the field to set up a potential game-tying chance.
With Harvey went almost the entire Millburn defense, which allowed Killeen to slip by untouched. Harvey found Killeen wide open in front of the goal, who ripped the ball past Miller goal keeper Wes Moshier to send the game to overtime.
“Its kind of a blur,” Harvey said. “I just run I just ran down the field. I think it all kind of came to me right when I was running. I was just running in open space and it all just worked out.”
In the sudden-death session, New Providence goalie Garrett Pope made his last to keep the Pioneers alive which led to junior Mike Palmieri setting up Harvey for in front of the goal for the game clincher.
Harvey finished the game with points on five of New Providence’s final six goals, including three scores and three assists. John Slater added two goals, while Killeen had a goal and an assist.
Pope arguably recorded the biggest stat line of the game, making 15 saves on 22 Millburn shots.
“Last week I was saying we’d be screwed if we didn’t have Garrett because he makes the craziest saves most of the time,” Harvey said. “Its always good to have a good goalie because then you have nothing else to worry about.”
Millburn’s Ethan Russo, Owen McCarthy, Dan Zahka and Davis Moshier each scored twice for the Millers, while Wes Moshier made 11 stops in goal.
The Pioneers host Pope John on Saturday at 3 p.m.