BLOOMFIELD, NJ - The New Providence High boys lacrosse team fought valiantly but succumbed in the second half, dropping an 8-4 decision to second-seeded Glen Ridge in the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA South Jersey, Group 1 tournament Saturday at Watsessing Park in Bloomfield.
New Providence, the seventh seed, and Glen Ridge were tied, 4-4, at the half before the Ridgers scored three times in the third quarter and once again in the final period.
"I thought we had a great game plan and played right with them," said New Providence head coach Russ Anderson. "But it was a big-time struggle in the second half. We had our chances but couldn't convert. And they're a very talented team and made the most of their opportunities."
Glen Ridge (13-4) will now play host to sixth-seeded Haddonfield in a sectional semifinal next week. The Ridgers are 12-1 in its last 13 games with its only loss being a 12-4 setback to the state's No. 1 team Seton Hall Prep on May 4.
The Pioneers, which ended their season with an 11-9 record, received goals from Matt Burke, Jack Gullo, Thomas McGrath and Joe D'Anna.
Glen Ridge, which entered the game averaging more than 12 goals per game in its wins this spring, was held to just eight by a strong effort by the New Providence defense led by Jack Gertie, Matt Misiukiewicz and goalie Zach Marvin.
Ren Debartolomeis, who leads Glen Ridge with 45 goals, was held to just two goals and an assist for the Ridgers.
"Our defense played their butts off and was just unbelievable," said Anderson. "They really left it all out on the field."
New Providence did well to finish 3-3 and in fourth place in the Bianchi Division of the NJILL. The Pioneers' only losses were to Delaware Valley, Bernards, Scotch Plains-Fanwood, which finihsed first to third, respectively, in the division.
New Providence avenged its loss to Scotch Plains when it earned a 10-6 victory in the quarterfinal round of the Union County Tournament on April 30. The Pioneers then lost to top-seeded and eventual UCT champ, Summit, 12-5, in the semifinal round on May 4.
This year's team totaled 180 goals and was led by seniors D'Anna (60 goals), McGrath (36 goals, 32 assists), Burke (23 goals, 18 assists), Sean Sweeney (21 goals), Nick Walsh (10 goals, 25 assists) and Gertie (11 goals, 150 ground balls).
"Its going to be tough to say good bye to this group of seniors," said Anderson. " It is a huge amount of talent that we'll lose. These guys were battle-tested and always gave it everything they had. I'm very proud of this team."