MORRISTOWN, NJ- After impressive upset victories over higher seeded teams in the first two rounds of the State Playoffs, Randolph boys lacrosse had hoped to keep the magic carpet ride going. Unfortunately for the Rams, a slow start, along with several injuries to key players, propelled Morristown over Randolph on Thursday afternoon by a score of 14-2.
The loss for the eleventh seeded Rams eliminated them from the Group 3 State Tournament and effectively ended an unlikely and valiant run.
Morristown jumped out to a hot start, taking an early 4-0 lead after one by controlling the ball for most of the first quarter. The Rams were immediately up against very tough odds especially after their leading scorer, Senior J.P. Southren, limped off the field with an apparent knee injury just seconds into the contest. Southren returned a few minutes later and finished the game, however he was not the same player as he favored the leg, and continued to have it looked at by trainers.
After the game, Rams’ Head Coach John Noslanski talked about the injury, “J.P. is an integral part of our offense, and for him to go down in the first ten or 15 seconds of the game was tough,” said Noslanski, “he just wasn’t himself the rest of the game.”
In the second quarter, the Colonials continued to dominate the possession aspect of the game, even though Junior Jesse Bush won virtually every face-off. Despite feeling pain, J.P. Southren added a bright spot to the Rams’ day by scoring a beautiful diving goal mid-way through the second.
The Rams went into the third down 7-1 when they suffered another blow to their roster; Bush went down just about a minute into the half with a foot/ankle injury that kept him out the majority of the rest of the game. With the loss of Bush, the Rams had a much more difficult time winning face-offs but continued to play hard, and hit the Colonials hard.
In the final quarter, J.P. Southren scored his second goal of the game off a nice pass from Senior Brett Gundy. Randolph Senior T.J. Lindquist also had an assist on the day.
The Rams fought hard all the way until the last second of the game and came away with a 14-2 loss despite giving it their all.
Coach Noslanski gave special thanks and congratulations to all the graduating seniors who have played their last game, and thought his team showed great heart all season long. “The team played with heart, we played with heart all year round and we never gave up even when we were down ten goals,” said Noslanski.