NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ– With slightly over 100 spectators in attendance it was a great atmosphere under the lights at Lieder Field where New Providence boys lacrosse defeated Scotch Plains-Fanwood, 9-4, in the Union County quarterfinal.
The Pioneers had a bye into the tourney’s third round. For the Raiders, this is their second game, having recently defeated Oratory Prep 14-4. Earlier this year, the Pioneers defeated the Raiders by a score of 11-7.
The Pioneers had two goals within the same minute in the first quarter. At 8:41, Jonathan Ebert scored the first unassisted goal of the game. Then at 8:02 in the first quarter, sophomore Jack Harvey had the second goal of the game assisted by senior Derek Singer. Seven minutes later, with 90 seconds left in the first quarter, James Burke scored an unassisted goal.
After a successful first quarter for the Pioneers, the Raiders began their goal scoring by having two goals in the second quarter. At 11:24, Christian Gordon scored off a pass from Thomas Walker. Then at 3:35, Jack Erickson scored for the Raiders while Nate Warner assisted. Harvey and Burke kept the lead at three with second frame goals.
With the score 5-2 at halftime, New Providence head hoach Vincent Carangelo congratulated his team on playing a great first half of lacrosse.
Despite Scotch Plains-Fanwood having two goals in the second quarter, New Providence prevailed with three goals in the third. Ebert had an unassisted goal, followed by tallies from Burke and Harvey.
Kevin Charos kept SPF in the game with a goal in the third, but New Providence still led 8-3 after 36 minutes of action.
Harvey and SPF’s JAck Cunningham exchanged goals in the fourth, to close out the 9-4 win for New Providence.
New Providence goalie Brian Valerio dominated the net, tallying 23 saves, good enough for his 700th career stop.
Harvey led all scorers with four goals in the game.
“It felt great,” he said. “It’s great that we won, and all of my goals came from the encouragement of my teammates.”
After winning the first game of the county tournament and increasing his team’s record to 12-2, New Providence Head Coach Vincent Carangelo still had a list of things his team can improve on before facing Westfield on Thursday.
“I liked the way we played today and I am happy with every facet of our game,” Carangelo said. “We can get better, and we’re going to work on that. I wouldn’t say there was one specific area of weakness as today was a team effort. I’m proud of my team, and I’m even more proud of the fact that we’re making the semifinals for the first time in team history.”
Scotch Plains-Fanwood head coach Nick Miceli is proud of his team, despite the tournament-ending loss.
“It was a good accomplishment, but we could have done better,” Miceli said. “After seeing New Providence play tonight, it’s clear that they were the better team.”
With the victory, New Providence will face Summit in Thursday’s Union County semi-final. The game will be played at Johnson High School in Clark. Face-off time has yet to be determined.