NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The Oratory Prep boys varsity lacrosse team had lost five of their last six games heading into Wednesday's match-up with New Providence.
Unlike the Rams, the Pioneers had won five out of six until Oratory Prep scored three goals in the fourth quarter to beat New Providence 8-5 at Lieder Field.
"They're a big school rival for us to begin with, so to get this win is sweet," Oratory Prep captain Chris Billups said. "We all just showed up extra fired up. We really brought the ram today."
Andrew Kontra and Andrew Croonquist each scored three times in the game for Oratory Prep, as they move to the .500 mark with a record of 6-6, while the Pioneers drop to 11-2 on the year.
"I'm really proud of them," Oratory Prep head coach Kevin Donnelly said. "We've been in a little bit of a slide lately. We had some injuries hit us. We kind of lost a little bit of our confidence lately."
The Rams jumped ahead midway through the first quarter when Croonquist scored immediately after a Pioneer foul. Two minutes later, James Burke found the net to tie the game at 1-1.
With 1:13 to play in the opening frame, Billups put Oratory back on top 2-1. This was the first of three straight goals for the Rams as Kontra opened the second quarter with back-to-back tallies to put Oratory Prep ahead 4-1.
"Kontra is a our go to guy," Donnelly said. "He scored 82 points for us last year. He missed two games. Ke kind of makes us go. We missed his points. He's kind of our Steady Eddie. We rely on him to score some goals for us."
The Pioneers fought back with three consecutive goals of their own. Burke and freshen Quinn Killeen each scored before the half ended to pull New Providence within one at the half.
Less than four minutes into the third, Rob Madsen tied the game from right in front of the goalie.
Madsen's goal seemed to spark Oratory Prep as they put in three straight to take a 7-4 lead. Croonquist led the charge with another goal and an assist.
Donnelly said it was his most complete game of the year.
"He really put it together today," Donnelly said. "He was the quarterback for us today."
After Jack Harvey pulled the Pioneers within two goals in the final three minutes, Croonquist added his third goal of the game to shut the door on the win.
"We finally clicked on defense," Kontra said. "The last few weeks we haven't been clicking as a team. Today, we finally clicked."
New Providence, who won their division title during Tuesday's 15-1 win over Union City, will face a to be determined team in Saturday's Union County Tournament. The Rams will face Scotch Plains-Fanwood on Friday.