Boys Lacrosse: West Essex Falls to Pope John, 3-2, Leading Up To States

Oliver Irwin Credits: Nick Teodoro
Patrick Delehanty Credits: Nick Teodoro
Zach Lemonski Credits: Nick Teodoro

NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — Inexperience and growing pains hurt the West Essex High School boys lacrosse team on Monday as a late goal by Pope John High School led to a 3-2 loss for the Knights on their “Senior Night.”

“It’s tough—offensively we’re struggling,” said West Essex head coach Justin Schwindel. “We need guys to execute, we need guys to step up and that didn’t happen today.”

Ultimately, in a tie game with less than four-and-a-half minutes to play, the Lions outworked West Essex to earn the victory. Two late penalties put Pope John up by a player and Tyler Humphrey was the benefactor.

Sign Up for E-News

Humphrey’s goal, with 1:26 remaining, effectively ended the game and sent West Essex to its fourth-consecutive defeat.

“We’ve had a few games this year where we’ve come back, and that’s awesome it shows a lot of character, but closing things out has been a little more difficult and I think it’s going to come,” said Schwindel.

The Knights rebounded in the second half after trailing by two goals. Sam Adams received a precision pass from senior Pat Dingwell to put West Essex on the board with 11 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Dingwell, one of five seniors on the team, has led the squad with 14 assists on the year.

“The whole game, we were preaching patience,” said Schwindel. “We knew they were playing zone and we knew that after time there were going to be cracks in that zone and it came.”

West Essex continued to ride that momentum into the fourth quarter. The Knights outshot their Lion counterparts 3-1 and eventually knotted the game at two by utilizing excellent defense.

Zach Lemonski’s stick check of his Pope John defensive assignment resulted in a ground ball, which he promptly took to the cage for the game-tying goal with 4:27 to go.

“We rode well in the second half and got an opportunity and thankfully buried that, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough,” said Schwindel.

West Essex wasted a fine effort in net from goaltender Danny Laible, saved 10 shots from Pope John and effectively took charge in clearing the zone with his defensive unit. The junior has showed tremendous growth over this past season, according to his coach.

“He has steadily become a pretty damn good goaltender and it’s exciting to see because we’ve got another year with him—he’s only a junior,” said Schwindel. “The only thing we got on him about was being a leader back there, because he is our quarterback back there and he’s embracing that role.”

The loss drops West Essex to 3-12 on the season in a year the team knew would be filled with growing pains. Despite the sub-.500 record, the team has earned a seed in the state tournament due to a strong strength of schedule.

“We knew it might be tough sledding because of the schedule we play and because of our youth, but this is a process,” said Schwindel. “What we’re trying to build here is going to take time and we’re laying some important groundwork here.”

Schwindel said he is looking forward to getting key postseason experience in the upcoming state matchup against Montville on Wednesday.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Essex

$100 OFF per Week for Summer Camp Now!

July 12, 2018

Guerrero Marital Arts is now offering an 8-week summer camp for summer 2018!

Pick which weeks you want!

Camp Weeks are:

July 16, July 23, July 30, August 6, August 13, August 20, August 27

Includes the following:

Fun (through Sports, Play and Games)
Field Trips (may cost extra)
Life Lessons
Reading Time
Martial Arts
A great place to ...

Bucco Couture Summer Sale on All Custom Suits, Shirts and Casual Wear

NUTLEY, NJ — Save while looking sharp! 20% off all summer wear an extra 10% savings for Military, Veterans and all first responders at Bucco Couture, 187 Franklin Avenue in Nutley, with the launch of some new products such as our tracksuit line, crushed cotton drawstring pants and jeans. 

We also carry Bugatchi and Rober Graham casual wear as well as stretch high V-neck ...

Newark Lures Amazon With $1 Billion Payroll Tax Incentive

July 14, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Amazon will get a payroll tax break at a cost of $1 billion to the city should the company open its second headquarters in Newark, according to one of two ordinances approved by the Newark City Council council to sweeten the deal for the corporate giant and stand out among other locations vying for Amazon’s so-called HQ2.

“The City Council has brought Newark a ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, July 21, 12:30 PM

CycleBar Livingston, Livingston

Bike for the Bean

Giving Back Health & Wellness


Mon, July 23, 10:00 AM

Roseland Free Public Library, Roseland

Walking for Fitness

Health & Wellness


Mon, July 23, 4:00 PM

Roseland Free Public Library, Roseland

Lego Mindstorms

Matarazzo Farms Farmers Market Every Tuesday in Cedar Grove

July 17, 2018

CEDAR GROVE, NJ - Join Matarazzo Farms for its Farmer's Market every Tuesday through the fall at the new Cedar Grove Park on Fairview Avenue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. directly in front of the Robert J. O'Toole Community center in Cedar Grove.

Matarazzo Farms will have fresh local produce naturally grown plus some other specialties like fresh cut ...


Mar 23, 1932 - Jun 2, 2018
Obituary - Donald J. Cooney, March 23, 1932 to June 2, 2018 Donald J. Cooney, 86, of North ...
Read more

Would Shedding

How much wood wouldn’t a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck woodn’t?


Enough already.  


I get it.  It is an easy mistake to make, misusing would and wouldn’t.  It happens to me all the time.


“Honey, when I said I didn’t see any reason why I would go to the ballet, I meant to say I couldn’t see ...