West Orange Boys Lacrosse Team Suffers Lapse in Fourth Quarter in 7-5 Loss to Morris Knolls
Thursday, April 7, 2011 • 9:30pm
WEST ORANGE, NJ – John Dennis led the West Orange Mountaineers with three goals, all of which came in the second quarter; however, the offense could not put the ball in the back of the net in the fourth quarter and were defeated by Morris Knolls 7-5 on Thursday afternoon at West Orange High School.
The first quarter started off slow with both teams feeling one another out. West Orange had a few shots on goal, but none were really quality scoring threats.
Morris Knolls opened up the scoring late in the first quarter when Rob McCormick put in a goal at the 2:34 mark. Michael Campman put the ball in the back of the net just over a minute later. West Orange was trailing 2-0 at the end of the first.
West Orange dominated in time of possession and shots in the second quarter and it showed on the scoreboard. Dennis scored his first of three tallies at the 9:29 mark off a nice move toward the front of the Morris Knolls' net. Christopher Defigueiredo was credited with the assist on the play.
After firing a few more shots on net, West Orange scored another goal to tie the contest at two apiece. Dennis scored his second of the game when his team was a man up because of a Morris Knolls penalty. He was cutting toward the goal and buried in a pass from teammate Ryan Oelz.
“At the end of the first quarter we told the guys…anytime that we’ve been down we fought back,” West Orange Head Coach Brian Cohen said. “Just because you fall behind early, doesn’t mean the game's over,” he continued.
Dennis pulled his team ahead for the first time in the game with one of the best individual efforts one can expect to see in a high school lacrosse game. He scooped up a loose ball in the Morris Knolls' zone and drove to the net, beating four checking defenders, before he fired the ball into the goal. West Orange was up 3-2 at that point and took that lead into halftime.
The third quarter saw West Orange continue to play well in the opposition’s zone and they were able to get another goal midway through the period. Sheldon Piggot found Defigueiredo streaking down the right side and launched a pass to him that he put in the goal. They were up 4-2 at the 6:53 mark of the third.
“I have no problems with the effort that we brought to the table today. We’re improving every day. I’m very happy. The kids that I have this year are very resilient. They’ve been around me every day. They’re improving and they're learning,” Coach Cohen told The Alternative Press after the game.
Morris Knolls scored the next goal to bring the contest to within one, but then Joey Mijailidis scored for West Orange to bring their lead back up to two goals. His score came off a nice drive down the center slot at the 2:29 mark of the third.
Dimitri Paleocostas scored for Morris Knolls at the end of the third quarter to make the score 5-4, setting up for an exciting fourth quarter.
Unfortunately for West Orange, they were only able to fire six shots on the Morris Knolls' goal in the final twelve minutes of play and failed to light the lamp on any of their attempts. Their best try came when they were down 6-5 with about 2:45 left in the final quarter. Peter Zipf received a nice centering pass with only the Morris Knolls' goalie to beat, but his shot attempt was thwarted.
“I thought we had a couple good looks on the goal. A lot of the looks that we had were up high,” Coach Cohen said of his offense in the fourth quarter. “We didn’t get enough good shots on the ground.”
Later in the fourth, Morris Knolls scored what proved to be a backbreaking goal. West Orange was down 7-5 at that point and could not find a way to break through their opponent’s defense.
With the loss, West Orange drops to 1-2 on their season. They will look to get back to .500 when they host Hanover Park High School tomorrow at 4 p.m.