CRANFORD, NJ — The Verona boys lacrosse team remains unbeaten following a battle that resulted in an 11-9 victory over Cranford on Saturday.

“These kids just played their hearts out…it was an up and down game, and they fought back," said Verona head coach Matt Diglio. "They didn’t have a couple of things go their way, and they persevered and that’s all you can ask for."

The two teams competed in a back-and-forth physical affair throughout the contest. Tied at nine, the Hillbillies needed a play and would receive one in the form of a goal from Jack Freedman. His goal with 2:31 left in the third was his third of the contest and the eventual game-winner. 

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“It was man-up, and they were sliding heavy crease and when they were locking off Jack Lonsinger I was able to shoot in with no one on me,” said Freedman. 

The Hillbillies then relied on their veteran defense to close the door on any chance for a Cougar comeback. The defensive unit led by seniors blanked Cranford  with a number of ground balls and key saves from goalie Jackson Seawright. 

“Our defense, they are all seniors, they know what it takes to win, and they just shut down their offense and said ‘this game is ours,” said Diglio.

Verona ultimately would get a key insurance goal from Trevor Spinelli, who has nine goals now in his last three games for Verona.

“It was a tough day for [Spinelli], but when it counted most he came up, pulled the trigger and put a goal in,” said Diglio.

All the theatrics of a close game quite possibly overshadowed the consistent effort of senior attacker Jack Lonsinger. Lonsinger added three more goals to add to his team-leading 34 goals and 16 assists. 

“[Lonsinger] brings greatness, it’s something that you only get to see a few times in your career and you just watch and enjoy, the other kids understand that and he brings it every game and it elevates everyone around him,” said Diglio

Verona (6-0) will carry its perfect record back home as the Hillbillies host 2-1 Montclair Kimberley Academy, a school they have not beaten in over six years. 

“We need to keep playing physical, our style of ball, hit them in the mouth and keep going,” said Diglio.