BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Although the final outcomes were not in their favor over the opening four games, the Gov. Livingston boys’ lacrosse team displayed a large portion of tenacity.
Three of those four setbacks came via a one goal deficit, and that seemed to have forged a rising confidence rather than a sense of doom among the Highlanders. There was no sense of a season slipping away so early.
Since then, the results have been better for Gov. Livingston, which delivered an 11-7 victory over Nutley on Friday at home for its third straight victory in a key NJILL Klank Division match.
Andrew Cahill hit for four goals, Zach Miller and Cole Wahlers contributed two goals apiece, Blaine Gyory added a goal with seven assists, and Luke Stallone finished with 23 saves in the triumph over Nutley as Gov. Livingston improved to 3-4.
The three-game winning streak began after the Highlanders absorbed a 6-5 loss to Verona in a big way as seniors Cahill and Carson Wahlers, Cole’s twin brother, combined for eight goals and Gyory, a junior, fired in three goals in a 17-2 romp over Parsippany.
Gov. Livingston followed that effort with a 15-6 decision over Gill-St. Bernard’s on April 9 as Gyory erupted for six goals and two assists, Cahill scored five times, Matt Richel and Drew Rittman hit three times each and Carson Wahlers netted three goals.
“Losing the first four games to start the season was definitely tough, but we played well,” said first-year Gov. Livingston coach Mike Provinsano, who served as an assistant the past seven seasons. “We have a lot of seniors who have played together for a while and I think they believe in our program. Nutley beat us last year and this was a big division game and test for us. Our players have been very focused and relaxed and have kept working hard. It’s been a blast coaching them.”
Just two weeks into the spring campaign, the Highlanders at 3-4 are one victory shy of their entire win total for 2018, when they finished at 4-14.
Provinsano has deployed a more motion-oriented offense this spring, highlighting the scoring skills of attackmen Gyory and seniors Rittman and Cahill.
“We don’t want a lot of one-on-one isolation in our offense,” said Provinsano, who also credits assistant Doug Voight and the support of the entire Gov. Livingston staff with their support this season. “Much of our attack now is pass and cut, pass and cut. We really drill that into the team, and they’ve picked up. We want a lot of movement.”
The Highlanders have listened intently and rarely stood still.
Cahill leads the club with 26 points on 20 goals and six assists while Gyory has 25 points (24-11) and Rittman has nine goals and an assist.
In the midfield the Highlanders offer the talented and experienced trio of seniors Richel, Carson and Cole Wahlers and Zach Miller. The defensive midfield features steady seniors Matt Buryk and Gianluca Baglioni.
Defensively, seniors Jake Miller and Brendan Fenton (long stick) have delivered superb play in front of sophomore goalie Luke Stallone.
“I think we have great senior leadership this year and the entire team is a very tight group,” noted Provinsano. “This group of seniors has been so important to me and the program. We have a super group and their attitude is amazing. You have to work hard as a team but it’s also about having fun and the wins will come.”
The Highlanders will get the chance to improve to .500 on Tuesday when they travel to play Boonton.