NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Mario Argenziano, Zander Maranberg, and Ryan Pope were all honored Saturday afternoon at Lieder Field before their big match-up against Watchung Hills Regional High School, as they were applauded by the fans and their coaches for all the hard work and dedication they put towards the program for the past four seasons.
“Our seniors have been committed program players since day one,” said New Providence head coach Russ Anderson. “They are great kids and work incredibly hard and I’m proud of their effort as seniors.”
With emotions running high when the game started, the Pioneers were able to use that momentum to get off to a strong start, as stout defense and a stellar performance in net by junior goalie Patrick Trezza gave the Pioneers a 3-1 halftime lead, with goals scored by Jack Gertie, Jack Barletta, and Joey D’Anna.
“We were able to maintain offensive possession and work to get open looks,” Anderson said, speaking on his team’s effort in the first half. “Some great finishes in the first half was exactly the start we wanted.”
The dominating play by the home side completely vanished right from the get go in the third period as the visitors from Watchung Hills owned the face-off and used that possession to tally six consecutive goals in the period, turning a 3-1 deficit into a commanding 7-1 lead in the blink of an eye.
Hopes of a comeback on Senior Day were thwarted in the last 12 minutes by the Warriors. Even though possession was much more equal than in the prior quarter, Watchung Hills put in three more goals before Tommy McGrath was able to get the Pioneers back on the board, making it a 9-4 game early on into the 4th quarter.
Unfortunately, that was the last goal New Providence would score on the day, as one more Watchung Hills tally was the icing on the cake to put the game away, handing New Providence their second loss in a row after a winning streak of four games.
New Providence will have the chance to bounce back and get back in the win column when they take on Morris Knolls on the road, where Coach Anderson hopes that his team can get back on track as they make a push for the playoffs.
“We need to fine tune some details defensively and keep working offensively to improve our opportunities in order to make any run come playoffs.”
The Pioneers will look to even their record back out at .500 if they can beat Morris Knolls on Monday, with face-off scheduled for 4:30 p.m.