By Mark Kitchin

At the ripe old age of 28 being inducted into a Hall of Fame was the last thing on Matt Poskay’s mind. However, the former A.L. Johnson and University of Virginia lacrosse player has achieved more in a decade than some individuals attain in a lifetime.

So it’s more than fitting that Poskay has been named to the New Jersey Lacrosse Hall of Fame class of 2013. Poskay and five others inductees will be feted at a luncheon at the Mercer Oaks Country Club in Princeton Junction on Sunday.

The Hall of Fame is a joint venture between the North Jersey and South Jersey chapters of US Lacrosse, the national governing body of the sport. This year’s group is well balanced and has contributed to the sport in numerous ways and on a variety of levels.  It includes Lauren Plasha Berg, a player and official who initiated the West Deptford girls lacrosse program, Dale Oehler, a player, coach and administrator who was pivotal in starting lacrosse at Rumson-Fair Haven, former Hunterdon Central and Rutgers University player Richard Prakopcyk who coaches various youth and off-season teams for North Hunterdon, Florence High School graduate Gina Carey-Smith, a former record-setting goalie and current goalie coach at The College of New Jersey and Lauren Simone Farrell, a Delran High graduate and standout for national champion Princeton University teams.

South Jersey chapter administrator John M. Kalinowski will also be given the Dick Rizk Unsung Hero Award for his service to the sport.

“It’s an extreme honor,’’ Poskay said. “When you think about the lacrosse talent that has been coming out of New Jersey and the great people, to be part of something like this is an extreme honor and an extreme privilege.’’

Poskay felt it was unusual because in many ways he still has a lot to give lacrosse. As a member of the Boston Cannons in Major League Lacrosse, he is a four-time All-Star and considered one of the league’s most talented players. He is also going into his second season as the men’s lacrosse coach at Wagner College. He is a little bit surprised to be going into a Hall of Fame at this point in his career.

“It wasn’t all that long ago that I was playing in New Jersey,’’ Poskay said. “That makes it more humbling. It’s been a lot of hard work and it’s hard to look back on your career when you are still doing it. I always just worked on getting better and doing what I needed to do.’’

Poskay is amazed at the growth of the sport even since his high school days. If the 2002 Clark school graduate harbors any regrets, it is that some New Jersey high schools that didn’t have lacrosse when he was playing have recently picked it up.

“There were some schools that we played in football that would have been fun to play in lacrosse,’’ Poskay said. “Once a guy picks up a stick, he’s hooked. The sport is really picking up in numbers.’’

                                                                      Matt Poskay (photo courtesy of Wagner College)

He’s pleased to be entering this year’s class with such an accomplished group. Members like Oehler, who recently helped bring back men’s lacrosse at Lebanon Valley College where he played collegiately, are just as happy to be in the same company with Poskay.

“It’s a fun class to be inducted with,’’ Oehler said. “Matt is still playing. He was a prolific player and scorer. It’s humbling to be in his class.’’

Oehler has also been involved in the sport in both Connecticut and Pennsylvania. His experiences in helping start the lacrosse program in Rumson-Fair Haven are having a positive effect even now. The current president of the South Jersey chapter of US Lacrosse often advises others on how to start and build lacrosse programs in their towns.

“We benefited from a lot of local talent,’’ Oehler said. “One thing led to another and eventually we had to contact the high school and the Board of Education. There were a lot of challenges and it was a lot of work. The good news is the (Rumson-Fair Haven) high school team has become a premier program in the Shore Conference.’’


Here are some brief biographies of this year’s Hall of Fame inductees:


Lauren Plasha Berg

Berg has been an outstanding New Jersey official and coach and has been instrumental in growing the girl’s lacrosse program in West Deptford. She learned her lacrosse in Garnet Valley, (Pa). After a stop at Franklin & Marshall, she moved onto Northwestern University where she started and played three seasons of lacrosse including the schools’ inaugural year. She has been a referee since 1993 and currently officiates youth through college level games. In 2003 she founded the West Deptford lacrosse program and helped it grow in all levels. She successfully petitioned the town’s Board of Education to make girls lacrosse a varsity program. From 2008 to 2012 she served as Vice President of the New Jersey South Chapter of US Lacrosse. She currently coaches at Ursuline Academy in Wilmington, Delaware.


Dale Oehler

The Wilton (Conn.) high school and Lebanon Valley College standout was selected as an outstanding contributor to the sport in the state of New Jersey on the youth level. He coached the travel team at Rumson-Fair Haven for 12 years and the New Jersey South Under-13 festival squad for eight seasons. He is an original and continuing board member of the town’s Youth Lacrosse Association and played a pivotal role in getting the high school’s varsity program approved. In the mid 90’s he was one of the original members of the reconstituted New Jersey chapter of US Lacrosse. He is a board member of the New Jersey South Chapter of US Lacrosse and is currently the chapter’s president. He recently returned to his roots at Lebanon Valley College and helped them to re-instate the sport that they dropped in 1985.


Matt Poskay

Poskay was a prolific scholastic scorer at A.L. Johnson in Clark. He is the All-Time leading point scorer in New Jersey lacrosse history with 468 in his varsity career. He also set and still holds the record as the nation’s all-time leading goal scorer in a career with 362 goals. He was selected 4-time first team All-State player, three-time All-Conference player, two-time New Jersey All-American. He moved on to have a stellar career at the University of Virginia, which won the National Championship in 2003 and 2006 with him in the lineup. He scored 41 goals his senior year at Virginia. He continues to excel with the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse. He has been a league All-Star four times. In 2010 he was League MVP and MLL Offensive Player of the Year. When not playing, Poskay has been coaching. He served two years as an assistant coach at Johnson Regional and two years as an assistant at Drew University in Madison. He is currently in his second year as head coach of Wagner College.


Richard Prakopcyk

The three-year varsity standout at Hunterdon Central was a scholastic All-American in 1973 and 1974. He was first team All-State in 1974 and was eventually named to the Newark Star Ledger All-Century team. Prakopcyk played collegiately at Rutgers University and was a 1978 team captain. He was given the school’s Robert Collett Award for Mental and Physical Spirit that year. He has coached for the Bethlehem (NJ) Youth Warriors since 1999 and has been directing North Hunterdon High School teams during their winter and summer off-season programs since 2003. His efforts were so recognized by area coaches that he was chosen the NJILL Pitt Division Man of the Year in 2005. He was also designer of the proposed 9/11 Monument commissioned by the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.


Gina Carey-Smith

Carey-Smith made her mark between the pipes. She was a four-year starter and a two-time All-American at Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey). The Lions won three NCAA championships with her help. She still holds school records for most career saves (638), fewest goals allowed in a season (71) and fewest allowed in a career (314). Her career won loss record was 69-4. She saved her best for her senior season and was selected for the Ensign C. Markland award given to Division IIIs top rated goalkeeper. The Florence High School graduate was also an All-American field hockey standout at the school. She has been the TCNJ goalie coach since 2005.


Lauren Simone Farrell

The Delran High School athlete was named South Jersey Player of the Year by the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1998. She went on to a stellar career at Princeton University. She was a three-time All-American, earning first team status in 2002. She played in NCAA Final Four, three times. Her teams advanced to the finals in 2000 and 2001 and captured the National Championship in 2002. The team captain that year, she was also named Tournament MVP for her performance. A first-team All-Ivy selection in 2000, 2001 and 2002, she ranks fifth for most points in a career at Princeton, second for points in a season, third for assists in a career, fifth for assists in a season and sixth for goals in a season.

By Mark Kitchin

Jaclyn Leto and Kelsey Perselay of Chatham, Aly Messinger of Mendham, Mary Alati of Glen Ridge, Caroline Cordrey of Summit and Kelci Smesko of Ridgewood have been selected All-Americans by U.S. Lacrosse it was announced recently.

They represent Northern New Jersey on a list of nearly 300 athletes designated for the honor by the sport of lacrosse’s national governing body. The complete list including the South Jersey All-Americans can be accessed at Laxpower. com.

Chatham’s Leto finished with 112 goals and 48 assists. The senior midfielder helped lift the Cougars to a Group II title and a berth in the Tournament of Champions title game. She will be attending Dartmouth University in the fall.

Chatham’s Perselay was a key performer on the draw and in the team’s dominating transition offense. The senior center, who will be attending Georgetown Universityin the fall, finished the season with 76 goals and 27 assists.

Mendham’s Aly Messinger will be a talented asset to the University of North Carolina. The Minutemen senior attack player finished with 87 goals and 68 assists. Mendham (19-5) advanced to the Group III title game before losing to eventual T of C champion Moorestown.

Glen Ridge’s Alati had 55 goals and 52 assists. The senior midfielder will continue her lacrosse career at Universityof Virginia. The Ridgers finished with a 21-4 record and became Group I champions with her help. Three of her goals came in a 14-7 loss to eventual overall state champion Moorestown in T of C play.

Summit’s Cordrey helped the Hilltoppers to a 14-5 mark. The senior midfielder finished with 80 goals and 12 assists. Her next goal will be scored for the fledgling Universityof Southern California squad.

Ridgewood’s Kelci Smesko finished her senior season with 59 goals and 18 assists. The Duke-bound midfielder helped the Maroons to a 22-3 mark. She scored four goals in the Ridgewood’s narrow T of C loss to Chatham.

A list of Honorable Mention All-Americans was also released. It includes Maggie Sinzer (Mendham), Casey Drollinger (MountainLakes). Kate Martino (Summit), Caroline Thiele (GlenRidge) and Ann Vreeland (Pingry).

By Mark Kitchin

While most people saw the exhibition game between the U.S. Under-19 National Team and the New Jersey All-Stars as a final tune up. Tyler Barbarich could have easily recognized it as a battle between his old friends and his new friends.

On one side were his current teammates on the national team who he has been working hard with for the last three weeks. On the other side were his hometown buddies from his high school days at Bridgewater-Raritan.

“Alex (Eaton), B.J. (Grill), Ray (Mastroianni) – all my friends were there,’’ he said. “Obviously it was a good time.’’

And for three quarters everyone joined in the fun. The U.S. team came out on top, 9-4, in a contest that was ended before the fourth quarter started because of a threatening thunderstorm.

Matthew Kavanaugh fired a hat trick and Daniel Eipp scored twice to lift the U.S. Team to victory in the exhibition on the hot turf at Mountain Lakes High School.

Madison’s Colin McLinden was one of the four players who scored goals for the New Jersey All-Star team coached by Delbarton’s Matt Kovachik and Summit’s Jim Davidson.

The U.S. Team previously played exhibitions against Long Island and Philadelphia All-Star teams before Sunday’s contest. The 23-man squad that includes players from Colorado and California as well as the traditional East Coast hotbeds will leave next week for the Under-19 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) Tournament being held in Turku,Finland from July 12-21. The has dominated the Under-19 tournaments in the past and is determined to continue their success again this year.

Barbarich is part of a New Jersey contingent on the national team that includes Ralph D’Agostino, a Califon resident who attended Immaculata, and Steven Pontrillo, who registered two assists in the game, a recently graduated St. Augustine Prep senior from Marlton. Barbarich thought the game was a perfect send off for the National team which got off to a slow start last week and fell to the Philadelphia All-Stars in overtime.

“I think it was a great test for us,’’ Barbarich said. “Their team was definitely very strong. I guess the Philly team and the Long Island teams were about the same. It was as good a test as we’ve had all the time even though we lost last week against Philly. That was more our fault because we didn’t come out well in the first half.’’

National team coach Tim Flynn thought so, too. The winningest boys lacrosse coach in the state of New Jerseysaid he was humbled at the response the team got despite the torrid heat wave and the possibility of dangerous storms on Sunday.

“It means a lot,’’ Flynn said. “There are so many people out here in Jerseyand they all came out to support us. 

“I know some people changed their vacation plans to do this. It was just fantastic to be able to put it together. It was very humbling for me to have all these kids from Northern New Jersey support us. From 130 campers at a clinic we had (on Saturday), to a full packed house today. It’s just great stuff.’’

Flynn, who has coached the Mountain Lakes boys lacrosse program since its inception, believed the early finish was acceptable since they wanted a full, healthy contingent of players for their trip to Europe. He also didn’t want to endanger the fans that endured the torrid 90-95 degree temperatures.

“We would have loved to play the final quarter but you know what – the safety of the fans and the safety of the kids is more important,’’ Flynn said.

The National team was never in danger of losing. It broke out to a 6-0 lead beforeMadison’s McLinden zipped a shot past goalie Zachary Oliveri midway through the 20-minute second quarter. The first-half netminder fromRonkonkoma, New York was sensational with eight saves including a few spectacular ones.

“That goalie was hot,’’ McLinden said. “We had the same amount of shots, maybe the same amount of possession time. He played an outstanding game.’’

The New Jersey All-Stars played well despite the limited amount of playing time they had together. The group included Morristown’s Pat Laconi, who is a member of the NCAA champion Loyola College squad, and former Mountain Lakes athletes Chase Winter, Pat Flynn, Scott McWilliams and Greg Cuccinello, who returned to the site of so many past triumphs.

“We had one practice for maybe an hour. It was just a walk through with no checking,’’ said McLinden who plays for Fairfield. “A lot of us haven’t picked up a stick since the end of the year, so it’s great to pick up a stick and start playing again.’’

New Jerseyscorers included John Scioscia and James Kennedy of Summitand Kevin Cernuto of St. Joseph’s Metuchen, Cuccinello registered an assist for the Garden State squad.

The New Jersey players understood the reason the contest was halted after three quarters but that didn’t mean some of them didn’t feel a little bit cheated in not being allowed to finish. 

“I’d like to get 20 more minutes against them to see what I could do,’’ New Jersey goalkeeper Tyler Avallone said. “The weather didn’t hold up.’’

Mendham’s Avallone, who will be stopping shots for Syracuse next season, only got to play a quarter and made a couple of nifty saves. He knew a number of players on the New Jersey team and he keeps in touch with D’Agostino who will be his college teammate.

“The quarter I played was a lot of fun,’’ Avallone said. “I was impressed with them. They put in a lot of work. I would expect nothing less than to see them bringing home the gold.’’

NJ Lacrossse Foundation
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USA U-19 Men’s Lacrosse Team
NJ All-Stars Men’s Lacrosse Team

Where: Mountain Lakes High School Turf Field
When: Sunday July 1st, 2012 – Game time 3:00 pm
Preliminary Youth New Jersey U-15 All-Star game at 12:30
Tickets: $10 General admission

Proceeds to help benefit the U-19 Team in the quest for a 7th World Championship in Turku Finland in July of 2012.

The New Jersey Lacrosse Foundation, a chapter of US Lacrosse is hosting the United States Men's Under 19 Men's National team in an exhibition against the New Jersey All-Stars. The NJ All-Star roster is comprised of current collegiate underclassmen. The NJ North Chapter is proud to host this event and support Team USA.

The Head Coach of the United States U-19 team is Tim Flynn of Mountain Lakes, NJ

The Team USA U-19 Team roster includes 3 players from New Jersey:          

  • Tyler Barbarich, Bridgewater-Raritan High School '11, Martinsville, N.J., Delaware '15 
  • Steven Pontrello, St. Augustine Prep '12, Marlton, N.J. 
  • Ralph D'Agostino, Immaculata High School '11, Califon, N.J., Syracuse '15

New Jersey All-Star Roster:

Nick Depaolera, Kinnelon High School, Rutgers University John Scioscia, Summit High School, Notre Dame Steve Grembowiec, Kinnelon High School, Georgetown Charlie Oldendorp, Madison High School, Lynchburg Colin McLinden, Madison High School, Fairfield Pat Flynn, Mountain Lakes High School, Dartmouth BJ Grill, Bridgewater High School, Marquette Alex Eaton, Bridgewater High School, Notre Dame Brian Feeney, Summit High School, Penn Scott McWilliams, Mountain Lakes High School, Virginia Joe Petrucci, Delbarton School, Harvard Kevin Ryan, Mountain Lakes High School, Loyola John Locasio, West Essex High School, Villanova James Kennedy, Summit High School, Holy Cross Danny Feeney, Summit High School, Penn Rob Guida, Chatham High School, Johns Hopkins Pat Hodapp, Jefferson High School, Mercy Terry McKenna, Summit High School, Holy Cross Greg Cuccinello, Mountain Lakes High School. Towson Kevin Cernuto, St. Joes Metuchen. St. Johns Pat Laconi, Morristown High School, Loyola John Muti, Mountain Lakes High School, Navy Jack Breit, Delbarton School, Harvard

Jim Davidson, Summit Matt Kovachik, Delbarton

About NJ Lacrosse Foundation

US Lacrosse, NJ North, a chapter of US Lacrosse, offers assistance to youth and high school boys and girls programs around the state, and provides a leadership role in virtually every aspect of the game. For more information, visit us at

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By Mark Kitchin

BRIDGEWATER– Jeff George had no need to impress anyone but that didn’t stop others from noticing his tremendous effort in the title game of the Garden State Lacrosse Challenge on Wednesday.

The Watchung Hills midfielder scored four times in the second half including the game-winner to help his South II Hunterdon Region team rally from a 4-0 halftime deficit to earn a 6-5 victory over the North II Morris East squad in the title game at Basilone Field in Bridgewater.

It was an amazing feat of stamina for George, who was chosen Most Valuable Player, considering the record-setting 90-degree heat which was made even hotter by playing on artificial surface fields.

Immaculata’s Mark Swintek and Hunterdon Central Mark Diehl also scored goals for South II which as awarded the Sheridan Trophy for its efforts.

North II was paced by a pair of goals by Kinnelon’s Dom Usinowicz. Madison brothers Collin and Christian Scarpello each notched a goal and Mountain Lakes’ John Reuben had a second-half tally.

“A championship is the time where you have to come out and play your hardest,’’ George said. “We were down 4-0 and someone had to turn it up so I decided to play all out. Everyone else capitalized and I had a few assists at the end. It was a whole team effort.’’

George has already committed verbally to the Universityof Massachusetts but that didn’t keep him from competing in the Challenge. Close to 250 athletes competed on 10 teams from around the Garden State in the annual event that was witnessed by a number of college scouts. The games are sponsored by the North and South Chapters of U.S. Lacrosse.

Watchung Hills coach Jamie Lovejoy was co-coaching the South II squad along with Hunterdon’s Central’s Mike Vergalito. Lovejoy was not surprised at his player’s effort in such draining weather conditions.

“His best attribute is that he enjoys the game,’’ Lovejoy said. “He has a superior work ethic. He didn’t have to be out here. He didn’t have to participate. He’s already committed. He’s a kid that comes to work every day and enjoys what he does. He has a bunch of intangibles. He has speed. His stickwork is pretty impressive and he’s just super athletic.’’

Despite his scoring binge, George can also be very unselfish. He fed Diehl for the tying score with 49 seconds left to make it a 5-5 contest.

“That was all (Diehl),’’ George said. “He made a great cut and he finished it beautifully. Credit that to him.’’

The Hunterdon Region team, which also has elements from Somerset Countyand includes athletes from Bridgewater-Raritan, Somerville, Montgomeryand Bernards, won the subsequent faceoff and called a time out. There was no doubt that the ball would end up in George’s hands. His tight angle righty shot rippled the left side of the net and provided a gratifying ending to the hot but thrilling contest.

“I don’t remember anything about the last goal,’’ George said. “Everyone was celebrating at the end and that was it.’’

Plenty of credit has to be given to the Morris East squad that was seeded third in the North. Coached by Kinnelon’s Kevin Kelly, Morris East played three consecutive games on three different fields on Wednesday and endured 10-minute marches to and from Bridgewater-Raritan’s third field, which is located in back of the high school and still had enough energy left to build an early lead in the title game.

The South II team finished unbeaten at 7-0 and did not lose a game in the two-day tournament. It’s very much a credit to the quality of players being developed in the Somerset and Hunterdon County area.

“We won all the games and took the top seed,’’ Lovejoy said. “Coach Vergalito churns them out. We had a couple of Hunterdon Central kids that contributed today especially at the midfield and the Somerville defense, their whole corps of close defenseman, were difference makers in the second half. After letting four quick goals up in the first half, they came out and shut it down.’’

Morris II advanced to the final by defeating the North I Bergen and Passaic County squad 7-4. Jake Haimson (Montville) scored twice. Christian and Collin Scarpello and Usinowicz registered individual tallies as did Sam Hall (Morristown) and Vincent Sapio (Madison).

South II rallied to top North IV, Essex County squad, 6-5 in the other semifinal contest. Ryan Dunleavy of Hunterdon Central tied the game with a score early in the second half. Jared Delouisa of Somerville connected for the game-winner in the final minutes to advance South II to the title game.

By Mark Kitchin

MADISON – Scotch Plains and Cranford may not be considered New Jersey lacrosse hotbeds yet, but some players from those schools are anxious to show that they are ready to compete against anyone – and the Garden State Lacrosse Challenge should help them prove it.

There were five teams of about 25 lacrosse players each representing North Jersey on the Madison High fields last Thursday competing as part of the Garden State Lacrosse Challenge, an annual showcase tournament sponsored by U.S. Lacrosse. There are also another five teams that will be representing South Jersey that also met last week. The 10 teams will converge this Wednesday when the showcase tournament will be concluded on the fields at Bridgewater-Raritan High School.
Read the rest of this entry »

By Mark Kitchin

Competing in a Gil Gibbs All-Star game meant a little bit more to Ed Adeogun then it did most of the athletes who played in the Lacrosse Jamboree. The standout defenseman from Montclair took it as a supreme honor that he will never forget.

Adeogun scored a goal and helped Cayuga defeat Onondaga 17-8 in the final contest of four high school senior showcases held at the Jamboree which was held on Sunday, June 10 at Madison High School.

The Lacrosse Jamboree is the annual end-of-the-year event the allows the best seniors in New Jersey to compete one last time before going off to play in college or in some circumstances hang up their sticks for good. It was special for Adeogun because he was the only boys athlete competing from Montclair High where Gibbs built the legacy for which he is remembered today. The boys exhibition games that bear his name are the cornerstone for the Jamboree which also hosts Girls All-Star games and numerous Youth All-Star contests throughout the day.

“We had an alumni celebration of 50 years on Friday,’’ Adeogun said. “There was a lot of Gil Gibbs memorabilia. A lot of people came up to say good things about Gil Gibbs. A lot of things I didn’t know about him. He was a great guy. Our coach talks a lot about Gil Gibbs during the season, before games, after the games. I wear a GG on my helmet for Gil Gibbs during the games. I just try to keep up the tradition that he started for everybody.’’

Read the rest of this entry »

By Mark Kitchin

Bridgewater-Raritan’s boys lacrosse season wasn’t just good – it was perfect.

Senior attackman Scott Bieda scored six goals and Bridgewater-Raritan captured its second consecutive Tournament of  Champions title with an 11-5 triumph over Delbarton on Saturday on the turf at Kean University in Union.

Justin Higgins scored twice and Ryan Hollingsworth, John Longardo and Ray Mastroianni connected for the Panthers which finished with an unbeaten 21-0 record, and extended a 36-game winning streak dating back to last year.

Connor Bilby scored twice and Grant VanFossen and Matt Oplinger also had goals for Delbarton. The Green Wave finished 16-7 and performed admirably in its first T of C Final since 2009.

“It was awesome,’’ Bieda said. “We never lost a game during the season. It’s incredible. Everyone always talks about that movie – “That Perfect Season’’. It actually happened and it all goes back to working hard in the off-season.’’ Read the rest of this entry »

By Mark Kitchin

It was with a sense of joy and a touch of relief that Moorestown retained its throne as the best scholastic girls lacrosse team in the Garden State– but it wasn’t easy.

The Quakers survived a furious second-half rush by Chatham before earning a 12-11 triumph in the Tournament of Champions Final on Saturday on the turf at Kean University in Union.

Carly Tagliente’s hat trick and a two-goal, two-assist effort by standout Stephanie Toy lifted Moorestown which capped off a perfect season at 27-0. The Group III champion Quakers captured their 18th overall state title and fourth T of C title in six years.after a two-year drought.

Mary Kate O’Neill and Jaclyn Leto fired hat tricks for Group II champion Chatham. Kelsey Perselay added a pair of goals and Kallan Murray, Lauren Maiorano and Brittany Marriott also connected for Chatham (23-3). It was the second time the Cougars had appeared in a T of C final.

Chatham trailed 12-4 with over 13 minutes left and nearly caught Moorestown by scoring seven consecutive goals. Leto, who had been battling illness the past week, connected with 2:52 remaining to make it a one-goal game. The Quakers held on to their tenuous advantage despite a wild and completely chaotic final minute.

“At 12-4 it was a pretty good feeling,’’Moorestown coach Deanna Knoblauch said. “At 12-11 you were holding your breath waiting for the final whistle to blow. Chatham stepped up and they started getting position on the draw. A switch turned on in Chatham. We couldn’t stop it.’’

Moorestown seemed invincible early on. Seven different players scored to help the Quakers build an 8-3 halftime advantage. Moorestown won draws, played solid defense and acquitted themselves as they did in the dominating years when overall state titles seemed automatic.

“In the first half we didn’t connect,’’Chatham coach Deb Marriott said. “We were kind of dropping the ball. We weren’t taking care of it like we should have. At halftime we talked about settling down and settling into our game. Our defense was getting lost when they were dropping cutters down the top of the 12- (meter).’’

Moorestown led 12-4 with 13 minutes remaining when Chatham started its fierce rally which came about by winning draws and using their speed to create transition goals.

Brittany Marriott knifed through two Quakers defenders and scored with 12:33 left to start Chatham’s seven-goal run. An O’Neill score, back-to-back tallies by Leto and goals by Maiorano and Perselay soon followed.

“Jaclyn has been sick,’’ Deb Marriott said. “We weren’t even sure if we were going to play her today. She’s had the flu, sinus infection, pink eye. She’s had it all. Yesterday, she had a fever of 101. I just think she kind of went into a zone at the end of the game and felt ‘let’s get this done’.’’

After Perselay won a draw control, she fed Leto who connected on a blistering righty shot from the left side to make it a 12-11 game with 2:52 left.

Turnovers in the final minutes led to a raucous finish. When the final whistle sounded, the field seemed flooded with tears. Moorestown players cried tears of joy while Chatham’s tears were filled with sadness.

“We really just love being with this team,’’ Chatham defender Brittany Marriott said. “We talked a lot about it going into today. We absolutely never give up. This is our last game together. We really just enjoyed the season so much that we would never, ever give up.’’

It was a mission accomplished for Moorestown which battled hard to return to its traditional position as New Jersey’s best.

“It feels unbelievable,’’Moorestown senior Haleigh Dalmassy said. “It feels right. This has been our goal for the last couple of years. The last few minutes were a blur. Everyone was running on pure adrenaline.’’

NJILCA Selects 20 All-Americans

Posted: 6th June 2012 by admin in NJ Lacrosse

By Mark Kitchin

Summit’s Nick Kilkowski was named Player of the Year and 20 All-Americans were selected when the New Jersey Interscholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association convened for its annual season-ending meeting at the Pingry School in Martinsville on Sunday.

The coaches also convened to select the lineups for the Lacrosse Jamboree which is being held on Sunday at Madison High School. U.S. Lacrosse allots their chapters to select a restricted number of All-Americans based on population.

Bridgewater-Raritan’s Scott Bieda was chosen Attackman of the Year and his teammate Ray Mastrionni was selected  Midfielder of the Year. John Winchell of Glen Ridge earned Defenseman of the Year honors while Ridgewood goalkeeper Noah Pounds was chosen Goalkeeper of the Year.

Bridgewater-Raritan coach Chuck Apel was named Coach of the Year. Joe Bitetto, who was nominated by Group II coaches, was selected as Official of the Year. Glen Rock’s Jim Egan was chosen Assistant Coach of the Year. Matt Kovachik, Delbarton School assistant coach and president of the NJILCA, was chosen Person of the Year. A new award, the Bob Scott Award, was initiated as a type of unsung hero honor. It was decided that it should go to Bobby Ferro, a Rutgers Prep athlete who is battling a brain tumor and has inspired teammates with his courage.

Academic All-Americans were also selected. The list includes: Michael Spera and Steven Reuther of Mahway, Zach Raposo of Voorhees, Pat Dyer and Peter Mabane of Westfield, Nick Mullery of A. L. Johnson, James Lawrence of Lawrenceville, Michael Clemente of Madison, Tim Miller of Glen Rock and Stephen Delargy of Morristown High.

NJILCA All-Americans

Scott Bieda                               Attack             Bridgewater-Raritan

Vince Colatriano                    Attack             Bridgewater-Raritan

Ryan Hollingsworth              Attack             Bridgewater-Raritan

Zach Jones                                Goalie             BridgewaterRaritan

Ray Mastrionni                       Midfield          Bridgewater-Raritan

Evan Mock                                Defense           Bridgewater-Raritan

Austin Williams                      Midfield          Delbarton

John WInchell                        Defense          GlenRidge

Jameson Smith                       Midfield         GlenRidge

Blake Searfoss                          Attack             Hunterdon Central

Brennan Newman                  Midfield          Lawrenceville

Walker Kirby                           Defense           Lawrenceville

Patrick Kane                            Defense          MontclairKimberleyAcademy

Rob Orazietti                           Attack            MountainLakes

Kevin Nanke                            Attack            Montgomery

Connor Meth                           Attack             Ridge

Eric Scott                                   Midfield          Ridge

Noah Pounds                           Goalie             Ridgewood

Tripp Telesco                          Defense          Ridgewood

Nick Kilkowski                        Attack            Summit