MILLBURN, NJ - Seeking a win, the fifth grade Millburn/Short Hills Lacrosse team took on the Caldwell Chiefs late last week and dominated their 5th game of the season, en route to a much needed 9-3 win.
The Chiefs had trouble with their passing game and the young Millers were able to capitalize on their opponents' errors in order to dominate both offensively and defensively throughout the game.
The strong defensive effort was led by Wes Dieckman and Wade Schmell who held off the Caldwell drives. Mid-fielders Luke Greenseid, Henry Foster and long stick middies Dieckman and Jack Smith dominated the transition game and kept the Chiefs on their heels.
Leading the attack, Oliver Becker was able to score in a hat trick and add an additional goal to double the lead by half time.
Despite the game being called five minutes early due to loss of daylight, it was a clear cut victory. Shane Posner had a first half shut out and first-year goalie Timothy Chinchilla held up the Millers winning effort during the second half.
Unfortunately, the Millers were outplayed in the following contest over the weekend against a solid Randolph team, out for redemption after a close loss to the Millers last year on their home turf.
Missed opportunities and an inability to maintain possession were key factors in the game, as the Millers lost their lead toward the end of the fourth quarter and simply could not transition quickly enough to finish their away game with another goal, losing 4-3.
Reflecting on the close loss, head coach Jonathan Justice believes it is part of the learning process.
“This year our 5th Grade Miller laxers are finding stiff competition from teams that in the past we’ve easily defeated," he said. "Our young boys are beginning to learn that hard work and dedication are necessary ingredients for success.”
Despite the result in the Randolph game, goalie Shane Posner made a solid effort with 10 saves for 14 shots on goal.
The team goes into their spring break with a record of 3-3. Their next game will be away at Berkeley Heights on April 23.
Caldwell statistics: Posner and Chinchilla in goal. Goals: Becker (4), Luke Betlow (2), Greenseid (1), Foster (1), Posner (1)
Randolph statistics: Posner in goal. Goals: Daniel Licciardi (1), Becker (1), Parker Justice (1)