MADISON, NJ- A heartbreaking last second goal eliminated New Providence from the NJSIAA South Jersey, Group 1 State Tournament on Wednesday. The Pioneers (16-5) lost 6-5 against Madison in the semifinal round.
New Providence started the fourth quarter down by two. With their backs to the wall, they controlled the game with offensive zone time. They broke through with five minutes left when Joe D'Anna ripped a shot into the back of the net to pull within one. The Pioneers kept pushing, and after several minutes of unrelenting offensive pressure, Tyler Lawton blasted a shot through the defense to tie the game up. The game was poised to go to overtime, but as time expired, Madison fired one last shot that beat everyone and ended the game.
"The kids left it all out there,” said Pioneer head coach Russ Anderson after the loss, “I’m so proud of the Seniors. I’m so proud of everything they’ve given to the program, to the coaches, and myself. I’m a proud coach today. I know it’s the toughest pill to swallow, but I told the kids if this is the worst thing that’s ever going to happen to you then you’re going to be in good shape. I love those guys; I’ll go to bat for them always."
“I thought we played great. I thought our shots weren’t falling like they normally do. It’s a big credit to their goalie. He’s one of the best in the state. Madison is a tough team,” Anderson said.
The Pioneers led early in the game off of two first quarter goals from Thomas McGrath and Lawton. Madison fought back in the second quarter. They tied the game at two, but McGrath buried a pass from Lawton to put New Providence back in the lead. With 16 seconds remaining in the half, Madison tied it up again 3-3. Only Madison scored in the third. They went up 5-3 before the Pioneers came back in the fourth