Mendham edges Madison in double overtime

By Mark Kitchin

Morriscountylax

MADISON – Dreyer Van Orden was like all the other Mendham seniors looking to put an ending to a double-overtime game. Luckily he looked up just in time to see an old friend in open space.

Van Orden found Liam McAdam on the crease and the Minutemen attackman connected with 14 seconds left in double overtime to lift Mendham to a 12-11 victory over Madison on Tuesday.

Van Orden had three goals and one assist and Anthony Lombardo and Will Robinson each scored twice for the Minutemen which improve to 1-1. The victory also gave new coach Jeff Seals his first victory as a Mendham varsity lacrosse coach.

Madison dropped to 0-2. The defeat ruined a splendid effort by Madison midfielder Colin McLinden had four goals and five assists and had at least three more goals called back because of crease violations.

Mendham’s Tyler Purdue connected off a feed from freshman Will Robinson with 4:28 left in regulation to tie the game at 11-all.

Mendham players celebrate a first half goal in Tuesday’s victory over Madison.

Both teams had chances to win in the first overtime but outstanding saves by Madison goalkeeper Brett Anton and Mendham’s Tyler Avallone kept the game going. After a couple of scoring opportunities early in the second four-minute overtime period, Seals called a timeout to rally the Minutemen.

“We set up a play that we immediately cancelled because of the other team’s defense,’’ Seals said. “Two seniors stepped up. Dreyer drew a slide and the communication was there since they play so well together. Those guys took it upon themselves to win the game.’’

Van Orden eventually got possession of the ball and made a run from the right side of the field; he looked toward the net and saw a familiar face.

“Coach told the seniors that he wanted us to take the ball and finish this game,’’ Van Orden said. “I had a short stick on me and I just pulled him out. I dodged at him, I saw my friend on the crease and I knew the game was over.’’

McAdam did have a game-winning goal last year and calmly caught the pass and picked out a spot high in front of the net.

“You saw it coming when Dreyer was pushing the ball there,’’ Seals said. “We were just hoping that pass would get there and it just snuck through.’’

McAdam quickly buried his only goal of the game.

“He’s clutch like that,’’ Van Orden said “He’s a little crease rat. I always look for him when he’s near the net.’’

Madison’s Mike Clements pushes to the cage as a Mendham defender gives chase in Tuesday’s game.

It is difficult to say whether the offenses were ahead of the defenses in the early-season contest or if both teams have a proficiency for scoring this year. However, there’s no doubt that the Dodgers offense is triggered by McLinden. The Dodgers standout face-off man is an elusive, savvy athlete who exhibits great footwork and a knack for squeezing past or around defenders in order to put in tight shots from difficult angles. The Minutemen threw a variety of defenders at him.

“We had to make sure we had a body on him and send our slides early,’’ Avallone said. “ Mainly during the whole game Dave Kovalisky covered him when we got settled. In transition our guys matched up. Our guys did a good job of turning him inside and giving him no angle of scoring.’’

The Mendham players were determined to get off to a good start, which was a bit of a problem last year. They also credited their conditioning for helping to earn their first victory. Seals, who is a West Morris alumnus, has made numerous changes to Mendham’s system.

“I run a different system that the coaches ran last year and a different defense,’’ Seals said. “Personnel-wise I made an adjustment to fit this program. The kids are responding to it well. We’re still making mistakes but when we tighten up and play the way we are coached we can run with some teams.’’

The conditioning helped in the back and forth contest that saw numerous ties. Madison led 4-3 after the first quarter with one of the goals coming off a splendid pickoff by Van Orden on an attempted Madison clear to make it a 2-2 game. Mendham also got a lift from defenseman Stephen Graziano who connected on a goal to tie the game at 4-4 early in the second quarter.

Mendham’s Ryan L. Harrington (4) and Dave Kovalisky (2) scramble for a loose ball on Tuesday. 

Madison led 7-6 at halftime but Mendham rallied to tie the game at 9-9 going into the fourth quarter. A crease goal by Dodgers’ Mike Clements was matched by Van Orden who circled the cage before stuffing the ball in the left side of the net.

McLinden buried a low righty shot with 5:43 left to make it an 11-10 game but Purdue would send it to overtime when he took a feed from Robinson and connected on a lefty shot.  

Other games of note:

Boys results

MOUNTAIN LAKES 13, NORTHERN HIGHLANDS 1 – The Lakers took a 9-0 lead at the half to improve to 2-0.

DELBARTON 15, CHATHAM 14 – The Green Wave earned a narrow win in a battle of area heavyweights.

WAYNE HILLS 4, MORRIS KNOLLS 3 – Michael Campman, Schuyler Nyegaard and Dimitri Paleocastas each scored a goal for the Golden Eagles. Wayne Hills’ K.C. Kardux scored the game-winner with 4:18 left in the come-from-behind victory.

Girls results

MONTVILLE 17, BOONTON 5 – Ashley Bello scored six goals and Shelby Labe and Danica Witty fired hat tricks for the Mustangs. Krysta Wangerin had a hat trick for the Bombers.

VILLA WALSH 12, POPE JOHN 11 – Candace Pollitto scored her fourth goal with 1:42 left to break the 11-11 tie. Ali Catizone, Caroline Gannon and Taylor Medd scored two goals apiece for the Vikings.

JEFFERSON 9, MOUNT OLIVE 6 – THe Falcons led 7-0 at the half and held on for the triumph.

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About mcvbb

Mark Kitchin is a boys varsity basketball writer for the Morris County New Jersey area

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