Top-seeded Delbarton surges into final

By Mark Kitchin

Morriscountylacrosse

MADISON– Patrick Foley scored 11 goals on Saturday, so did Clay Haarmann and Anthony Heaton if you ask them. No, Delbarton lacrosse wasn’t piling it on. The total reflects an attitude of unselfishness that is driving the Green Wave this year.

Foley actually had three goals to lift Delbarton to an 11-3 victory over Morristown High in a Morris County Tournament semifinal contest on Saturday.

Haarmann also had a hat trick and John Schaffer added a pair of goals for the top-seeded Green Wave. Delbarton advances to be reunited withMountainLakesin what may be the only meeting of the year between the two traditional rivals. Mountain Lakes advanced to the final with a dramatic victory on Jon Broome’s buzzer beater.

Fourth-seeded Morristown had goals by Brad Hersh and Kyle Goss and a fourth-quarter kick-in goal by defenseman Alec Schunk. The previously unbeaten team struggled in its first appearance in the semifinal round of the MCT.

“Coach (Chuck Ruebling) says it doesn’t matter how many goals you score as an individual, it’s how many goals you score as a team,’’ Foley said. “It’s really important to play as a team and win as a team.’’

After games it has become a tradition for Ruebling to ask one of his players how many goals he scored that day. The response is always the number of goals on the Delbarton side of the scoreboard.

Delbafton’s Patrick Foley draws a Morristown defender during Saturday’s MCT contest.

Delbarton wasted no time in taking control of the contest. Haarmann helped by sinking two of the first three goals. Jaime White added the other first-quarter tally. Scores by John Schaffer and defenseman Jack Breit helped build a 5-0 lead midway through the second quarter before Morristown finally countered.

“Coach Ruebling said all week that they hustle a lot on offense and defense,’’ said Foley, who scored in the second, third and fourth quarters. “In our past couple of games we have been getting off to slow starts. We’ve had to fight back in the second half, so it was really important for us to get off to a good start because we know going into Tuesday that Mountain Lakes is a good team.’’

It’s been slow and steady improvement on the Delbarton attack since the beginning of the season. Haarmann, Foley and Jack Malloy are adept passers, courageous dodgers and crafty shooters who seem interchangeable.

“Jack and Clay are stepping up their games a lot,’’ Foley said. “They are both great dodgers and they can settle the ball at any time during the game. They are both strong players and we are lucky to have them. All of our games are kind of balanced. It’s really important for an attackman to be able to pass the ball and score at any point in the game.’’

As Delbarton built its lead,Morristown struggled. By the second quarter, the Colonials top scorer Stephen DeLargy was on the bench with a bag of ice taped to his right shoulder. Morristown also replaced starting goalkeeper Gordy Pierce with backup Parker Fairy for a stretch.

“Gordy was shelled a little bit in the beginning,’’Morristowncoach Jeff Bigas said. “They managed to find some one-on-one opportunities. This is a different atmosphere that we’ve never played in before and it did affect us early in the game. We were on our heals in the beginning and that happens.’’

orristown didn’t give up and defenseman Schunk, Mat Drake and Mike Norton showed at times why the Colonials had won their first 10 games this year. Schunk even gave the Colonials a reason to smile in the fourth quarter by kicking a lacrosse ball into the net for a goal, which is a legal play but a very rare one at the varsity level.

Once Delbarton had a sizable lead its offensive players could be patient, work the ball around and pick their spots. Overall, the Green Wave outshot the Colonials 27-12 and earned the opportunity to play rival Mountain Lakes on Tuesday.

“Our first game was cancelled so it’s a huge rivalry for us,’’ Foley said. “We really wanted to play them. We watched the end of their game and we saw their last second goal so we knew we had to beat Morristown to play them.’’

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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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