BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ- After a 12-4 loss against Lenape Valley, the Highlanders closed their season by saying farewell to the seven seniors on the team. Brandon Gyory, Gavin Jakositz, Aidan Malave, Kyle Merz, Jon Nevius, Kyle Wahlers, and Jared VanOostendorp have all finished their lacrosse careers at Governor Livingston.
"It's sad. It's really sad. I've only been here for three years, but ever since I've been here everyone has been very welcoming and very nice to me," said Malave. "All the seniors really came together this year, and we're all like a big brotherhood now," Malave said after the game.
"I'm going to miss the team a lot. We've had a lot of positive memories over the last four years," said Jakositz.
"It's definitely sad to leave a bunch of players that I played with for four years. We've definitely grown as a brotherhood especially with the senior guys. I feel like we've gotten a lot closer this year than previous years because we knew our season was ending," said Wahlers. "We didn't take our time for granted. We made it all count."
The graduating seniors have high hopes for next year's team. "We have a very high skilled junior class, and that will definitely pay off. They should be better than us as we had all seniors that started in high school basically," Wahlers said of next year's roster.
"They'll do well. A lot of juniors -- a lot of team chemistry. A lot of returners, so they should do pretty well," said Gyory. "If everybody works hard in the offseason like I know they will, the sky's the limit for this team," said VanOostendorp.
The Highlanders got on the board early in the game, but they fell behind soon after. Junior Andrew Cahill scored the first goal of the game, but Lenape Valley responded with two goals to take a lead exiting the first quarter. Wahlers skipped a shot off the turf to tie it up in the second, but Lenape Valley reclaimed the lead not long after. It was 5-2 at halftime.
The Highlanders struggled in the second half. Lenape Valley scored six goals in the third quarter, and started the scoring of the fourth quarter with a single goal. They led 12-2 with more than ten minutes in the final quarter of the game. The Highlanders got some final licks in off of goals from Merz and Matt Richell to make the score 12-4.